Music Reviews

Acumen Nation

Coming Down: The Bastard Remix Album

Underground Inc.

Acumen Nation have been around for more than a decade now, but have never made their way to these ears before. I might have been missing out on something, although it’s somewhat hard to say by the evidence of this, a remix album and all. Acumen Nation play industrial dance with a metal edge, sort of like a glossier Ministry or a heavier Apoptygma Berzerk. And as you know, a lot of this sort of stuff sounds exactly the same even to hardcore fans of the genre. On this album, though, Acumen Nation actually set themselves apart from most competitors, and against all odds, succeed remarkably often with whatever it is they’re trying to do.

There’s an aggressive, hungry nerve running through the album, making these tracks stand apart from each other, lending most songs a unique voice. The glass cold, shimmering feel of “Monster Zero Vs. Earth” is brilliantly offset by the robotic sing-along “Dirty Fighter” or Mance Labgriller’s busy reworking of “Just A Bastard.” This being a remix album, you do get a few reprises too many, but most contributors have a rather distinct approach to the material, and particularly DJ? Acucrack – the band’s own remix moniker – contribute some really exciting tracks on here.

75 minutes of this are way too much of a good thing, but Acumen Nation have delivered a surprisingly successful and unique-sounding album in a genre where it’s all too easy to fake one’s way through it all. Recommendable.

Underground Inc.:

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