Review Summary: Serving as both a great introduction to Die so fluid's career and another stellar example of Grog(Georgina Lisee)'s musical talent, 'Spawn of Dysfunction is too overlooked and evidently underrated for all it's accessibility and astounding song-writing.
Given that both Feline and Ultraviolet experienced quite a lot of mediated success in the 90's, you'd be forgiven for thinking that Die so Fluid should at least deserve as much, if not much more recognition for their brand of Alternative Rock and Metal. That said, all three of the aforementioned bands, having been fronted by no other than Bassist and Vocalist “Grog” (AKA Georgina Lisee), have at least hit the UK's incredibly expanding music scene at least once throughout their fifteen or so years of existence. It was with the failures to communicate and disputes between Ultraviolet and famous record label EMI that Die so Fluid 're-birthed' as it were (alongside two very talented musicians in Guitarist Drew Richards and Drummer Al Fletcher who also played their parts in Feline and Ultraviolet), and ever since their formation twelve years ago it is unfortunately as if the band was only founded yesterday.
Criminally underrated as this band are however, you will either be mesmerized by the sometimes solemn, sometimes astoundingly aggressive vocals of Grog or bored to death with her constant attempts to make her voice flow with the music. In the band's excellent début album, 'Spawn of Dysfunction', Grog makes this work extremely well to her advantage. In such ferociously performed numbers as the stunning opener 'Bitterness by Discipline' and equally as storming title track, Grog's vocals seem to be at the forefront of each and every minute detail the songs consist of. At times, as on the comparably soothing and melodious 'Suck me Dry' and mysteriously titled 'Tripitaka' she sometimes fails to make her voice keep up with the heaviness of Richards' stunning guitar work, or indeed the battering rumble of her other instrument, the bass, yet even if this stands out to an avid listener of UK-based Alternative Rock and Metal in a negative way, there is plenty more to make up for it.
Whilst many will look at Grog's meandering vocal styles as simply a highlight, there is much more to it than meets the eye. What is immediately noticeable is the hypnotic and electrified effects of Drew Richards and his guitar work. There isn't a single riff or solo (wherever a solo can be found that is) that isn't distinguishable from any other, and for the neverending number of bands with tedious sounding guitars plodding along as if they couldn't wait to finish up, Drew Richards should really be recognized for his wide variety of guitar changes. There are a great number of songs on 'Spawn...' that really do benefit from Richards' use of groovy guitar leads, as on the bass driven but fairly effective 'Kiss the Floor', the brief solos only lasting for ten seconds at the most yet staying fully memorable in the listener's head after being played merely once. Even the tempo-shifting nature of both 'Draw a Line and cross it' and 'Circus of Sin', which eventually prove to be slightly too long for their own good, still stay far away from falling into monotonous territory and end on a fairly intense note.
Guitars and vocals may be what this album seems to be full to the brim of, but to forget the rumbling bass-lines and eccentric drumming would be an insult. It shouldn't be forgotten that on pretty much every song, the bass can be heard amongst all the swirling guitar changes and Grog's vocal talent quite clearly, even if it only follows on to what the other instruments are doing. The drums follow suit, but give each song an extra kick and pummels the heaviness of the guitar work to maximum and beyond, creating not just an overbearing atmosphere but a ferocious sound that could only be more monstrous had it came into form and stepped out of the speakers themselves.
It is unrecognisable to those who have listened to and fully embraced Grog's musical talent as a songwriter and lyricist in bands previous to Die so Fluid's formation that there is any flaw possible in the band's début album, but the over-long tendencies of 'Tripitaka' and 'Brainwash' may leave some wanting to skip on to the next, more exciting songs all too soon. That said, the lyrical content itself seems to fit the nature of Grog's vocals perfectly enough. The majority of the chorus structures may well be dominated by simply singing the songs' titles over and over again to the point of virtual hypnosis, but as the title track (“Spawn of demonstration rape/Sell your soul for all that you can make/All are whores, the sinners and the saints”) and 'Brainwash' (“Spare me an anaesthetic to misery/It’s not the dark that scares me/You say tears are unhealthy/They taste good to me”) prove, Grog's penchant for writing lyrics of an aggressive nature work to her advantage as a songwriter.
You may or may not agree with me on the idea that Die so Fluid are quite an underrated group in both a genre and nation of other certain bands that have gained far too much success for their own good, but the fact stands that Grog and Co. have created not just one, but three outstandingly good albums for their time and genre. Although not quite perfect in any way, 'Spawn of Dysfunction' is both another example of Grog's overlooked success as a musician and an incredible introduction to a band that should be hitting popular radio stations for all their accessibility.