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Epitaph

Error is the electro-punk brainchild of Bad Religion guitarist Brett Gurewitz and 12 Rounds’ mastermind Atticus Ross, with the big idea being the desire to see what happens when punk rock collides with the world of electronica. Also along for the ride are Ross’s younger brother Leopold (of the band NoJahoda) and Dillinger Escape Plan vocalist Greg Puciato. The result is a deliciously gritty, chaotic 5-song EP full of clicks, beeps, screams and thrashy beats.

The elder Ross has worked with everyone from Tim Simenon of Bomb The Bass to Nine Inch Nails. He was also a member of Trent Reznor’s once-mysterious Tapeworm project. Needless to say, his skill as a programming whiz is immediately evident. With his knack for dirty post-industrial soundscapes and Gurewitz’s penchant for punky melodies and lyrics intact, the effort can’t help but sound damn good, even if it’s far from being as revolutionary as Epitaph’s press kit would have you believe.

As a whole, the package reveals itself to be an amalgam of the polished industrial-crunch of Ministry and early NIN and bratty effect-laden vocals courtesy of Puciato, whose mixed-over screams and gurgles add a perfect finishing touch to the recipe. The first track, “Nothing’s Working,” is a pounding, pulsating industrial-thrash romp with a polished sheen reminiscent of some of The Prodigy’s best stuff. The other obvious candidate for mention is “Jack The Ripper,” a more up-tempo loop-happy piece with a catchy-as-hell chorus in which Puciato chants, “I don’t really give a fucking shit anymore/Fifty little pentagrams is just a beginning.” They also do a nice cover of 999’s “Homicide,” which deserves an honorable mention.

Sure, there’s some punk rock stuff going on here too, but it definitely feels more rooted in Skinny Puppy, than in, say, Bad Religion. And that’s most likely a good thing. Of course, this formula isn’t exactly novel, as Atari Teenage Riot beat Gurewitz to the punch almost a decade ago by combining their trashy punk rock aesthetic with underground industrial-electronic beats. However, that’s a minor quibble. Everything here is so hooky and well engineered that it should please all but the most ardent fans of 1990s industrial rock and hopefully intrigue a whole new breed of punk rock kids. If you dig early NIN, ATR, or Aphex Twin’s Come To Daddy, check it out. Hopefully a full-length won’t be too far behind.

Epitaph: www.epitaph.com

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