East Side Militia



by misterbananagrabber USER (11 Reviews)
January 9th, 2013 | 4 replies

Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Pure industrial/coldwave record that hits several high notes well-worth listening to.

I'm not sure what the hell defines a band or artist as a particular musical genre. And I sure as hell have no idea what "coldwave" really is. In any case, our band, Chemlab, has been deemed so, and if not, an industrial act. Chemlab is not an industrial metal act, like Nine Inch Nails or Marilyn Manson, but real industrial stuff, with some dancy electronic numbers. More synths and less on guitar/drums/bass persay.

East Side Militia is an interesting record that sets the tone with the opening track "Exile on Mainline." There's a sample of a movie where you hear a lot of rapid and small arms gunfire, breaking glass, and explosions. Then a gruff man (a commando of some sorts) yelling at someone he just captured. The song then goes into a loopy beat that goes on for 4 minutes or so. While this track is not particularly impressive, it shows Chemlab samples often enough and is fairly abrasive.

Through the album, you hear a lot of loops and sounds you would hear in Stabbing Westward songs, for example. "Jesus Christ Porno Star" is the main highlight of the record. If not for the iconoclastic name, this song is lyrically brilliant. The first half of the song combines acerbic lyrics with loopy synth throughout. The second half of the song seems like an outro, very fitting with the incessant nihilism that the lyrics have set upon it. The repeated drifts of "I am nothing / you are nothing / we are nothing / nothing at all" really blend well with the somewhat defeated mood of this outro part.

Other highlights of the record include two dancy, fast-paced songs in "Electric Molecular" and "Latex." "Electric Molecular" sounds electric to begin with, and has talk about circuitry and other related topics in the lyrics. Highlighted by some female vocals, and the electronic-laced vocals of the Chemlab singer, we have a high energy beat throughout. "Latex" has a lot of loopy sounds and is a little faster-paced than the previous track. The Chemlab singer really gets into this track.

Other than the three tracks above, the rest of the album is full of mostly bland tracks. The singing is not great in those tracks and very flat, but some of them have rhythm. "Vera Blue" is a calm 80's sounding track that is probably the only track dependent on a consistent bass line instead of a drum machine. "Pink" is an experimental song that has music like a horror movie buildup, with a somewhat crazy/depressed woman rambling throughout.

1. Exile on Mainline - 5
2. Jesus Christ Porno Star - 10
3. Vera Blue (96/69) - 5
4. Pyromance - 4.5
5. Lo-Grade Fever - 3.5
6. Electric Molecular - 8.5
7. Latex - 9
8. Pink - 5
9. Exiled "Suck on This" Mix - 5.5

Cohesiveness - 5 - Industrial tracks can sound very different from one another, and it is evidenced in this album.

Album Art - 10 - A manga-style paramilitary man pointing a gun in your face fits very well with "Exile on Mainline." Best album art ever.

Upshot - Obviously, not the most excessible music, but definitely for fans of industrial rock. "Electric Molecular" and "Latex" are high-energy club tracks that might be more friendly to hear. "Jesus Christ Porno Star" shines but could not be for everyone.

Overall, it is an album that has several worthwhile tracks, that are very enjoyable. The rest is very bleh.

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user ratings (17)

Comments:Add a Comment 
January 9th 2013


Album Rating: 2.0

Other than a few decent tracks, this album is pretty bad. Burnout at the Hydrogen Bar is much better.

Digging: Leprous - Pitfalls

June 29th 2018


Album Rating: 4.0

I disagree, Burn Out is great, but more straightforward and every song has the 3rd chorus which sometimes can sound lazy but it's a pure fun album to listen to, on East Side Militia many songs don't have the 3rd chorus and I think the songs are not structured as simple here which I personally find better.

Also I like the sound on ESM more, some songs on Burn Out sound more plain.

Digging: Robert Lippok - Redsuperstructure

August 27th 2019


Album Rating: 4.5

Album is in need of more love. First two tracks on this kill hard.

September 14th 2019


Album Rating: 4.0

I really agree. About "cohesiveness" well it's not always needed. Not every album needs to be an album where every song tells a part of one story. I love many albums where the songs sound very different.

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