Six Finger Satellite
Severe Exposure


4.5
superb

Review

by Mort. CONTRIBUTOR (55 Reviews)
January 24th, 2017 | 29 replies


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A cyborg fusion of vivid digital motifs and punk malevolence

I find Six Finger Satellite’s current obscurity strange. After all, it’s not as if they were outright ignored in their time; signing to Sub Pop Records, featuring in an episode of Beavis and Butt-head and having a record produced by James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem (whose label Death From Above gets its namesake from his touring set-up for SFS as their sound engineer) are all accomplishments of a decently successful band. But apart from the lasting life of “Parlour Games”, the track featured in Beavis and Butt-Head, whose number of streams on Spotify dwarfs their other work by miles, they’re largely forgotten. It’s especially strange considering the similarities they hold with other revered post-hardcore acts of the 90s. Severe Exposure’s perverse sense of humour and eclecticism is characteristic of those acclaimed outfits that stuck out for breaking free from hardcore’s proclivity for overly earnest expression: yet it remains an unloved relic.

Moreover, it’s a real shame Severe Exposure has been forgotten because its lurid fusion of post-hardcore, irreverent humour and synthesizers is singularly unique. Granted, it’s not that original to mix electronics and hardcore together, but SFS go above and beyond the standard format. Whereas most outfits struggle to prioritise one aesthetic over the other, coming off either as hardcore with synthetic tinges or particularly noisy synth-rock, SFS achieve a true melding; a cyborg fusion of vivid digital motifs and punk malevolence. Severe Exposure is therefore a fitting title, hinting at the abrasive fuzz that radiates off these tracks; a boisterous take on punk with a synthetic sheen that simultaneously comes off unnatural and relatable.

Now, that may sound like a contradiction, but I think its testament to SFS’s skill that they manage to wield such an artificial sound yet still come off as very much grounded. Many of the tracks mix the raucous structure of punk with synthetic effects without sacrificing punk’s down-to-earth nature, keeping the electronics to a tastefully considered minimum. So, rather than a cacophony of overladen obnoxious bleeps-and-bloops, the synths act like another layer of filth, working in tandem with the angular guitars to create a double-pronged assault of static. The humour also goes a long way in making sure the band doesn’t get ahead of themselves. On “Cock Fight” J. Ryan’s enigmatic vocals expel a malevolent sense of glee, as he whispers “to the cock fight” with something approaching sexual ecstasy, just before the song erupts into frenzied chaos.

These vocal shenanigans are strewn all across Severe Exposure; J. Ryan howls, croons and screams his way through these tracks with all the character one man can seemingly muster. It provides SFS with a certain something most hardcore bands are missing, that is, a vocalist with any actual personality. When he screams he is all the more ferocious for it because he isn’t just screaming all the time, varying his style greatly depending on circumstance. It’s a refreshing change for a genre that tends to rely on impact through bare-faced aggressive monotony. I guess it’s just that you can afford to hold back on the vocal fury when your band is talented enough to pull off so many different approaches, without sounding aimless.



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user ratings (24)
Chart.
3.8
excellent

Comments:Add a Comment 
Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
January 24th 2017


14170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

had a real block on this but managed to break through, which resulted in me posting it without doing several last proofreads so yeah pls point out any mistakes if you see them



feedback always appreciated



vid for Parlour Games: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U0OBlrx6qQw



Cock Fight (best song on the album imo): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IXIuHVF1sL4



album is on spotify

Digging: Brian Eno and David Byrne - My Life in the Bush of Ghosts

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
January 24th 2017


14170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah i struggled with the wording of that bit for quite a while, ill come back to it in a bit.



and yeah none of my reviews really conclude properly.



and calling it a thesis is a bit of an exagerration me thinks

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
January 24th 2017


14170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i guess it was more just like a passing observation than a thesis? i dunno

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
January 24th 2017


14170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i mean i do defo get your point because i did consider closing the review with a remark to the effect of "which is why its strange theyve gone so unnoticed"

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
January 24th 2017


14170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

I make up my mind over whether i want to read the rest of a review by the second sentence usually





MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
January 24th 2017


8849 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Gotta like seeing those Mort reviews

Digging: Ni - Pantophobie

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
January 24th 2017


14170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

cheers fam



think you might dig this, not sure tbh

Tyler.
January 24th 2017


16439 Comments


Cool

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
January 24th 2017


14170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

sweet

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
January 24th 2017


8849 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Saved it, will listen sometime m/

Trebor.
Staff Reviewer
January 25th 2017


56394 Comments


yesh

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2017


14170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

thanks i think

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2017


14170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

nyp?

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2017


14170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

why dont you upload it to bandcamp and make it nyp for everyone



that would be nice

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2017


14170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

i dont know how im not your dad

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
January 25th 2017


14170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Not being rude just statint a fact

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
February 15th 2017


8849 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

This is fun

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
February 16th 2017


14170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

yeah it is

adr
December 17th 2017


12005 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

the last song kick ass

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
December 17th 2017


14170 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

BOARD THE BUS





NO TALKING!!!



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