With their follow-up album, Gravity Kills takes the industrial-pop formula and gives it somewhat of a tweaking. “Falling” opens the album with a wide-eyed and crazy drum beat punched up by dampered bass. Guitarist Matt Dudenhoeffer applies direct pressure by way of fat, droning chords. This chimey onslaught continues throughout tracks like “If,” which features the banshee voice of Jeff Scheel, who gasps, rattles, and sounds like he’s gritting his teeth with each new verse. Doug Firley cooks up a rusty stew of samples that add a dirty cloud to the orange sky above the din. “Crashing” changes up on the delivery and offers up spooky shadows that dodge the lasers of Kurt Kerns’ acid breaks and bass loops that lean more towards Yello than they do Stabbing Westward.
The ear-candy begins to seep into the mix during “Alive” — here, the production bolts upward and headphones provide an aural treat. Jungle beats chase after high-pitched squeals and sandblasting streams of punked guitar. Though most of the lyrics are ambiguous, the requisite industrial-tinged themes of self-loathing, retribution, denied salvation and bitterness are here in verses like “looking through the cellophane/that used to be your eyes/try to hide the filth inside.” “Wanted” slows down the pace, allowing the band to show its knack for creating atmosphere while the cross-cutting elements of “Always” take a bold step in a straight rock direction. Dudenhoeffer squeezes schizophrenic notes out of his frets and embeds them in a pea soup of pipes, white noise, and waterlogged bass. By
“One,” the pressure is back on with a nicely melodic chorus and Scheel deep-breathing “I’ll beg you, I’ll save you/I’ll make you everything.” For those who like their drum ‘n’ bass with a lot more than just drum ‘n’ bass, “Disintegrate” slips a choppy stagger into a mutated groove with wildly flaying guitars. Play this one loud and the neighbors will be afraid to call the cops. Instead of attempting to singe your eyebrows off with a mind-numbing ending, the band
offers up the reflective “Belief (To Rust)” which fades away in a cascading of church bells. Distancing themselves from the typical hard techno crowd, Gravity Kills pulls off an assured sophomore release that delivers ass-quivering dance tracks and a refreshing inclination to widen the parameters. “If you could see me now,” indeed. TVT Records, 23 East 4th St., New York, NY 10003