Velvet Acid Christ
Fun With Knives
Before I started listening to this record for the review, I was girding myself for the worst. I had two pendulums swinging over my head:
1. It’s a Velvet Acid Christ record! You know, the band fond of strange band member pseudonyms, earnest angry young man lyrics, and enthusiastic but (Front Line Assembly) derivative music.
2. The CD jacket announced in bold terms a huge fuck-off to critics “who have nothing better to do than make fun of others” and so on. You get the idea. So if I write a bad review, then I’m a predicable critic dick, and if I write a good review, then I’m still a dick anyway.
Of course, I never anticipated that simply pressing Play would make all of my little problems go away. Jesus Fucking God! Velvet Acid Christ have just vomited forth their best record to date and bar none the best electro/industrial record of the year! I’m speechless, I’m listening over and over to it obsessively to try and determine the origins of this beauty and sickness, but I can’t. Bryan Erickson, aka Disease Factory, has finally transcended all of his influences and become a force in his own right. Play With Knives is a completely different Velvet Acid Christ. With the exception of a couple songs like “Speedball O.D.,” Erickson and company have slowed everything down and added layers and layers of lush orchestration and samples to produce tiny complete symphonies. Bryan Erickson has become the evil anti-twin of Brian Wilson, where childlike optimism and hope is inverted into disgust and anger. Drugs for both are a means to an end in producing their fractured symphonies, but while Wilson made his “teenage symphonies” in hopes of talking to God, Erickson’s music tears away hypocrisy and proves that there is no God hiding behind the stars.
I don’t care if you disagree, the undisputable proof is in the songs, and if you don’t believe that “There is No God” is going to be the “God Only Knows” for the new millennium, I’ve got nothing further to say to you. “Slut,” with guest vocals by Anna of Luxt, and “Caught” are the other two moments where I was just awed by the erratic brilliance of the music. I can’t go into any more specifics or I’ll just babble like a madman. Suffice to say, this is as close to the obsessive inspiration of Pet Sounds (or even Cleanse, Fold and Manipulate ) as we are going to get. Congratulations Metropolis, you have a genius on your hands.
Metropolis Records, P.O. Box 54307, Philadelphia, PA 19105; http://www.metropolis-records.com