Review by Kent Manthie
What we have here is a five-song EP by this new band, Waste. But I tried and looked all over, but could not find anything about them on the web. Trouble is, when I try to search for these guys, all I get for results is different pages that have info on some hippie band called Waste Band, not this band. So I’m going to have to do this review blindly, so to speak.
About the coolest thing on Detritus is the last tune, which is not even by Waste, but Mikroben Krieg, some German, Swiss, Belgian or maybe Austrian band, with Waste having remixed it. “Sleepwalkers” reminds me a lot of old Front 242, back when they were good, i.e., No Comment, Geography and even Front by Front. No Comment definitely is my favorite Front 242 album – it’s really obscure, there’s no catchy pop tunes or dance numbers, just a lot of “in-your-face” blasting, from that Belgian band. Unfortunately, they as well as even this band, Waste and many other bands in between have got this label of “Industrial” pinned to them, as far as genre; bands like Nine Inch Nails, KMFDM, Pigface, Chris Connelly, etc. The problem is: that music is NOT “Industrial” – far from it. Ministry frontman, Alain Jourgensen, came out with a term that encapsulates those kinds of bands and the style of music they make: he coined the term “Aggro” to define that hard-driving, almost metal sound, except that bands like Ministry & the various noms de plumes they used so they could record for Wax Trax!, the legendary Chicago-based indie label that had a lot of great bands-they had early Front 242, KMFDM, The Legendary Pink Dots and, since Ministry had been signed to Sire Records (a division of Warner Bros), Al & Paul Barker and co. used the names Revolting Cocks and 1000 Homo DJs (I feel like there’s another one I’m missing, the name of which I’m forgetting at the moment) to be able to record for Wax Trax! w/o having any contractual difficulties.
Anyway, the thing is, “Industrial” music is none of those bands or anyone who sounds like that. The originator of what “Industrial” was was Throbbing Gristle, who really set the standard for that genre. The other band I can think of who fits that description is Whitehouse. I know there are more and also, the line between stuff like “Aggro”, “Goth” and “Industrial” can sometimes be easily blurred. But make no mistake – Throbbing Gristle IS Industrial. Take a listen to The Second Annual Report of Throbbing Gristle, a very dark, noise-filled experimental thing. It’s not for the weak or anyone who lives for catchy riffs and slick hooks. Actually, though, the last two cuts on Second Annual Report are as close to being “accessible” as it gets – the penultimate track being “Zyklon B Zombie” and the last tune “United”, which really IS catchy. For someone who’s not heard Throbbing Gristle before, I would suggest they start with their third (I think) album, 20 Jazz Funk Greats (it’s a kind of humorous, ironic title, but there are only 11 songs on it. 20 Jazz Funk Greats is what you might call the “more accessible” output of their oeuvre. With wickedly perverse, dark humored songs like “Persuasion”, the obsessive, stalking vein of “Hot on the Heels of Love” or the reflective “What a Day”. For someone new to this genre, it’s easier to swallow than three versions of “Slug Bait”, four versions of “Maggot Breath”, the 20-minute “After ‘Cease to Exist’ (the Original Soundtrack of the COUM)” and, of course, the aforementioned “Zyklon B Zombie” and “United”. After Throbbing Gristle fizzled out, the core of TG morphed into Psychic TV, which carried on in a similar vein, still thrashing about in the “Industrial” vein. Like I said, I know there are probably 100s of underground bands who are “real” Industrial bands, but who you’d never hear about on the radio (unless it was a indie college-run station).
But, getting back to the review at hand…Waste – this EP, Detritus started out with the song “Debris”, which was the first thing I’d ever heard from them, so I didn’t know what to make of them. The way “Debris” went gave me a feeling that they were metal – not cheesy, 80s pseudo-metal, but the kind of speed-metal, like Cannibal Corpse, Deicide, etc. but without the growling, guttural rumbling and the machine-gun double-bass drum attack. So, that’s the impression with which I started. But I just let it continue playing and the more into it I got, the less “metal” it sounded. But I really don’t know how to categorize them, except that they’re “rock” – when it comes down to it, pretty much everything can be reduced to “rock” – everything else is a sub-genre, some things are more of a sub-sub-genre, etc, but when it’s all said & done, it’s still “rock”, you know? Besides, the music wasn’t dubstep or ambient or noise-rock/experimental.
I guess it does have a bit of “metal” in it, but thank goodness, it wasn’t that irritating growling, where the singer has half the microphone in his mouth and is making his growl sound distorted and the Yngvie Malmsteen-style speed guitar and the machine-gun double-bass drums. No, instead of all that Waste has a dark veneer, but the vocals aren’t annoying, but rather the vocals are filtered through some kind of studio effect that gives it distortion. But instead of just loud guitars, bass and drums, there’s a lot of electronic effects going on that give the music a more interesting hook than it would otherwise.
After the first two cuts, “Debris” and “Tabula Rasa”, the next two are both different remixes of a tune called “I Sing the Body Electric” and the last tune, as was mentioned, was done by Mikroben Krieg and remixed by Waste. When we get to the two remixes of “I Sing the Body Electric” and the final cut of Mikroben Krieg’s “Sleepwalkers” remixed by Waste, I think that’s the best part.
I wish I had more information about who these guys are, but for now, I guess we’ll just have to wait until they get a website or at least a Facebook page or something. If your interest has been piqued, I’d say check out the usual places – bandcamp.com, reverbnation.com, or try and search again – but don’t get these guys confused with the other band that comes up when you do a search for “Waste (band)” (I typed in “band” so I wouldn’t get a ton of totally unrelated results that only dealt with the vast topic of waste. But – watch out for this other band called Waste Band -they are not the same thing.
Hope you can find them and when you do – if you like ’em, promote them on Facebook or some social media site. -KM.