Australia’s Caustic Grip make electro-industrial in a throwback style, complete with all the mechanized sound design, chaos and lo-fi aesthetics of the genre’s classic era. The evolution from their earlier recordings to Toxic Rift is pretty evident; while it maintains the rough and ready quality of their previous releases, there’s a new strain of melodics running through these tracks. Take for example the vocal line on “Got to Know”; where the track’s pounding percussion and heavily quantized bass provide a rhythmic foundation. Scud Viney plays with the timbre and phrasing of their delivery, from drawn out passages to full-on Nitzer homage. “Cold Hands” starts with some very rigid rhythms before breaking out into a rush of leads and pads that give the song a lovely down-at-the-heel lushness. Even the frenetic title track, while strict of tempo and murky of sound sneaks in some interesting tunefulness into the cycling bassline and background drones. It’s a welcome and interesting upgrade in the project’s sound, one that adds to their established style without losing the rough edge that sets the apart.
The last time we heard from Hyperlacrimae, the Neapolitan duo were combining new techno/EBM styles with detuned, gauzy darkwave to produce an oddly noisy yet sensual tour through giallo territory. Follow-up LP Yoga Darśana is much more direct in its style, but no less compelling. A punishing barrage of heavy duty rhythmic industrial percussion, tilting towards the acoustic side of the sound, and murky programming guide the record. It’s body blow after body, from the erratic kicks amidst echoing samples of “Kobra (Endless)” and the chopped up percussive panning of “Kogawa No Gotsu”, with barely a moment’s breath between beats. Erminio Granata and Carmine Laurenza’s familiarity with industrial clatter new and old is detectable throughout – the sludgy, martial marrying of drones to beats should sound familiar to fans of everything from Test Dept to LORAH-era Ministry to Prurient – but it’s clear that leftfield techno as well as more ambient influences are just as important to Hyperlacrimae’s approach. The call is coming from inside the house, as we like to say at ID:UD, though Hyperlacrimae have clearly been spending some time in the attic on a tin-can telephone with the neighbors.