Kevorkian Death Cycle

Kevorkian Death Cycle

A + O [m]

Metropolis

Portrait of a band in transition.

Hey, something seems different about Kevorkian Death Cycle these days. A subtle change in… attitude… stance?

Can’t quite put my finger on it. But I think it has something to do with them covering Frankie Goes To Hollywood’s controversial dance gem, “Relax.” So, is it a straight-up faithful rendition, you ask? Well, I wouldn’t quite call it “straight,” but this will definitely scar and maim some “Eighties Night” dancefloor lizards for life.

Honestly, I hope this record sees KDC shed all of the baggage of their past, all the uber-politicizing, the Skinny Puppy obsessions, the EBM flirtations, because I’ve never yet heard a KDC album that I would call crucial. Sadly A + O [m] is no exception. But there are glimmers of hope. The very unevenness that drags this record down is a sure sign that KDC are killing their old idols, embracing new ones (Frankie says dance), and greedily hoarding pop gems for future use. The guitarist they employed when I interviewed them last time around is now long gone. They’ve saved themselves from the industro-metal bear trap, now they only have to finish the metamorphosis. KDC are too “cultured” for industrial now, I see them becoming the new Pet Shop Boys, and that would most definitely be a good thing.

But until then, we only have A + O [m] . Is that such a bad thing? Not really. “Relax” aside, “The Doorway” and the title track are absolute scorchers, dancey enough for Ibiza and geeky enough for your average Decoded Feedback fan. “How to Nuke Heaven” is a priceless Coil-ish title, even if the song never quite gets past “cool intro” status. The less said about acoustic experiment “Escape Par I,” the better. And “Caged” sends me home a happy customer on that slow-burning, statuesque Euro-industrial tip. It’s getting better, man.

Metropolis Records, P.O. Box 54307, Philadelphia, PA 19105; http://www.metropolis-records.com

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