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EXPANDER


EXPANDER 

"Neuropunk Boostergang"

By Dr. Abner Mality

Somebody or something has hacked the system that controls reality. Our world resembles one huge glitch, with organic meatbags busily trying to replace nature with digital architecture. What is the musical accompaniment to this impending systems crash? Maybe something like EXPANDER?

This is a very harsh sounding cyberterrorist bunch out of Austin, TX. The press describes them as metal punk, but to my ears, the industrial component seems far more obvious than the punk one. This is a scratchy, noisy assault on your neural network, full of rough angular riffage with little melody or catchiness to it. Initial track "Wretched Warez" opens with such a barrage of noise that the mind recoils. That settles down into something a bit more comprehensible but not a heck of a lot more.

It's a hard, hammering tone. "Waste Ranger" surprises by being the most "punky" and easy to get into song, although the title track is also catchy in a way. The rest is almost death metal meets harsh industrial, with larynx-ripping vocals. Longer tracks "Cryptosteal" and "Quest For a Future" shows more of the pure industrial side, throwing in synths and samples into the brew.

It's not a particularly easy album to digest, even if you're part of a dystopian hacker collective. It slams, rumbles and shrieks, but doesn't have staying power in the memory. Those expecting easy punk riffs due to the misleading press had best beware.