Insect - Mainstream Distortion - Directed by Alex Chandon
This techno-minded industrial duo seem bent on the marriage of creepy, mechanised atmospherics with a furious dance sensibility that sounds like a shoe-in soundtrack for a robot fight-sequence. Pumping beats, machine-like samples and howling guitars combine to create an angry sound that's both infectious and ever so slightly scary - in a good way. Short of a riot, it's doubtful you'll hear a more manic or angry sound this year.
Not content with the division of punk rock, electronica and industrial dance music, Mainstream Distortion are clearly convinced that the three go together. Some Bizarre Records agreed, and signed them in mid 2005. Their recently released debut album "Bully", dedicated to 'the bullied and those who torture them', comes with a bonus video for 'Insect'. Shot by none other than Alex Chandon - a cult direcotr responsible for cult screamplay 'Cradle Of Fear' - it's clear this genre-bending duo come from a very dark place indeed.
For an adrenaline-pumping, muscular techno rock album, it's hard to imagine a more satisfying listen than Bully. It's an astonishing collision between melody and crunching beats.
While some of the thrills are cheap (the Prodigy-esque Thrust for instance), there's a razor-sharp intelligence to the song construction that will come as no surprise to those familiar with Craig's previous outfit, Janiero. Glutton is mired in babbling keyboard tinkling before it takes a breakneck joyride into hyperspeed metal. Golden Stars takes a huge riff that sounds like Cameo's Word Up and distorts it into a highly-digitised whirl of overlaid guitars and board stabs.
She's Gone, by contrast, is a slow, acoustic-based song with a disturbing minor-key slant to the vocals. As an album-closer it provides the perfect opposite to the growling bass and keyboard swamp of the single and first track Insect.
What Mainstream Distortion do is not new, but they do it incredibly well. There are flavours of Ministry, Nine Inch Nails, Lionrock, The Prodigy, Tool and KMFDM here, but they're no cap-doffers - they do it their way.
ROCKSOUND - Sarah Cosgrove
Mainstream Distortion are the sound of rebellion and rage and someone has seriously pissed them off.
From it's menace-laced opener to its thundering title track, this debut is dedicated to the bullied and those who torture them. Taking a lead from NIN without nicking their cadence, they take us on an immaculately constituted trek through their world of anger and angst, with distorted guitar-laden industrial sounds matched by vociferous vocals and bare-as-balls lyrics.
"This is not 'A Pretty Hate Machine', more an 'engine of desire'".SG.
Emotions have sound, then meet paranoia. Borrowing heavily the industrial clangs of Nine Inch Nails and Ministry, Mainstream Distortion (aka Welsh duo Stitch and Craig Michael Orchard) add techno and demonic vocals to a sparse landscape of chugging guitars and synth bleeps to an awesome effect that saw them sell out TJ's on their debut gig. The video for single 'Insect' was directed by Alex 'Cradle Of Fear' Chandon and is available here as bonus material.