Review Summary: "I love my country but I fear my government... I fear they're watching me"
Remix albums are always a joy to try, hearing favorite tracks with a new spin on them can lead to many an old album being dusted off once again. Another bonus in remix albums favor occurs when the artists remixing the tracks are well respected and loved within the genre, making what was once just a cool album reach for those over the top heights. Left Spine Down (LSD) has been around
the digital hardcore/industrial scene since 2003, and their album Voltage 2.3: Remixed and Revisited
is a wonder to behold.
Clocking in at 78 minutes this beast begins rather tamely in comparison to other albums in the genre. LSD uses tracks called "tapes" as brief interludes throughout the album, and it is "Tape 8" that first greats the listener. Distorted vocals and strange samples give off a decidedly horror vibe, and with the ending lying in white noise and static it's not hard to imagine this playing during one of the SAW films. The album switches gears relatively quickly however, leaving the audience to enjoy the meat and bones of the album. Lead singer kAINE D3L4Y's vocals may lack the power of those of J.P. Anderson, yet they manage to fit the mood the music sets perfectly. His mid-range comfort zone is more than adequate enough to get the listener singing along, and occasionally reminds the audience of a less angry Trent Reznor. The other members know their place and never overshadow one another, preferring to show their talent as a unit then as individuals. This harmony is one of the factors that keeps the album's prodigious length (for the genre) from annoying listeners.
Voltage 2.3: Remixed and Remastered
features one new track as well as a cover of Nirvana's "Territorial Pissings" and Joy Divisions "Control" and these are placed so that they mesh seamlessly with the albums flow. The cover of "Control" in particular is great, LSD is able to give the song an edge befitting of the lyrics while at the same time paying homage to the original. Other standout tracks include "Ready or Not" remixed by the Revolting Cocks with it's catchy stand alone line of "I like you better naked," The Birthday Massacre's remix of "Last Daze," and the mix of "Hang Up" by Angelspit. Each of these are unique and bring their own decidedly quirky flair to album, making small moments of fun inside a whirlwind of excellence.
For an album to be 20 tracks and remain balanced is no easy task, and while LSD mainly succeed the latte half of the album seems to be a bit harder hitting and memorable than the first. This is due to the ending "trifecta" found in "Welcome To The Future," "Reset" and "Last Daze." The groups new track "Welcome To The Future" is more in the vein of Atari Teenage Riot than anything else on the album, and will remain in the listeners skull for hours after. The catchy chorus of "every time I try to fight it they deny it (they deny it), every time I try to show it they control it all the time. They have cameras, they have guns, they've got big atomic bombs, they'll do everything they can to frighten me" really hits a chord within anyone who has ever been angry with authority in general, let alone the federal government. The lyricism present here is not anything that older fans would be embarrassed of screaming along to, indeed it remains quite highbrow for the genre. The almost punk vibe of the track sets this song apart, and as it merges with 16volt's remix of "Reset" the energy is only slightly subdued. The Birthday Massacre also shine here as well, their aforementioned mix of "Last Daze" is automatically identifiable with the bands signature synths, keys, and guitar work. Chibi's voice is as gorgeous as ever, and as she hits some of the lower notes fans will be in a real treat; this is The Birthday Massacre as you have never heard them before.
With such a trio of tracks being placed back to back the ending of the album shouts in the audiences face rather than meekly shaking their hand and is all the better because of it; with Voltage 2.3: Remixed and Remastered
LSD have thrown industrial and digital hardcore fans one of the best lengthy albums in the genre. The bigger names help by adding their signature touch to their respective tracks, and LSD holds their own proudly with the new track "Welcome To The Future." Here is an album primed for multiple listens, as each listen is neigh on guaranteed to provide some new gem or favorite moment.