Genghis Tron
Dream Weapon


3.7
great

Review

by While She Sleeps: [in the back] STAFF
March 24th, 2021 | 152 replies


Release Date: 03/26/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Reconciling the past with the present.

Unapologetic hypocrite that I am, I’ve always found the ‘do that exact same thing again but better’ expectation often placed on artists by their fans to be rather unfair. To wish that a band’s future output be constrained by the content of their previous works, or the garbled demands of whichever faction of their followers shouts the loudest, seems both ignorant of and antithetical to the very nature of genuine creative expression itself (assuming one subscribes to my overly romantic (and probably unrealistic) view that to create is to seek to express the very essence of the self to the wider world, uninhibited by the views and/or expectations of others). I digress, because let’s face it: we all do it. We all maintain that lofty, oxymoronic expectation - at least in respect of some music, at least some of the time - and, unfortunately for Genghis Tron, your ability to suppress that all too natural impulse may well determine whether you view the band’s latest creative detour as a pleasant surprise or an unfortunate disappointment.

Genghis Tron was the biggest, baddest cybergrind outfit in town. The eclectic riff wizards exploded onto the scene back in 2004, dropping one quite good EP and two fucking incredible LPs that pushed excitedly at the already-strained boundaries of the genre that they called home. Then - having all but perfected the art of soldering together messy, mathy metalcore and elating, enigmatic electronics - they disintegrated into a decade-long hiatus (a major bummer, undoubtedly). Fast forward to 2021: Genghis Tron is no longer the biggest, baddest cybergrind outfit in town. On the contrary, the group’s long-awaited 3rd LP, Dream Weapon, contains none of the fidgety, frantic riffage sautéed with angry calculator noises that used to make Genghis Tron Genghis Tron. All of it has been stripped away - piece by piece, beep by boop - such that the resultant husk feels worlds apart from even the quietest moments of Dead Mountain Mouth and Board Up the House. Instead, against all odds, Dream Weapon is serene.

Spearheaded by a new vocalist and supported by the band’s first ever bass guitarist and drummer, the reshuffled reincarnation of Genghis Tron have chosen to take a much more meditative approach to their sound. Far from the explosive and unpredictable nature of their previous LPs, Dream Weapon is cool, calm and collected: less -core, more post-. Songs hum along at a patient, plodding pace, guided by an assortment of pastel-hued synths, reverb-laden guitar licks and chunky, cyclical grooves. Case in point “Pyrocene” cracks the record open with percussive popcorn loveliness, Nick Yacyshyn’s work behind the kit shining from the get-go as a wonderful, organic addition to the band’s arsenal. Sochynsky’s synths chime in as required between the tipping and tapping, painting in the gaps with the same eerie turquoise adorning the record’s cover. Tony Wolski softly croons somewhere in the background, smacking somewhat of A Thousand Suns era Shinoda/Bennington with not even the shadow of a grindcore growl in sight. Donning my ‘unapologetic hypocrite’ hat once more (and at a rather jaunty angle, no less), I find myself both disappointed and excited. This is sadly not the Genghis Tron I (and, no doubt, you) fell in love with (boo), but rather it's something new and shiny and different altogether (ooh).

These hazy, hypnotic opening moments sketch out a reliable picture of what the rest of Dream Weapon has to offer. “Ritual Circle” and the album’s title track end up at the same dreamy destination, albeit via a more direct route. Both tracks channel just a touch of old Genghis heaviness through machine gun drum fills and almost harsh vocals before dissolving once more into lush, astral floatiness. Similarly spacey interludes “Desert Stairs” and “Single Black Point” follow suit, sitting somewhere along the crossroads between GoGo Penguin, Boards of Canada and your personal favourite post-rock band: highly percussive, tantalisingly atmospheric and completely devoid of anything even remotely resembling a riff or breakdown. Sure, such cuts wouldn't have felt entirely out of place on Board Up the House - a record full to the brim with its own glitchy deviations and asides - yet without the maniacal screeching of Mookie Singerman and Hamilton Jordan’s Dillinger-style riffage as violent counterpoints, they too feel somewhat other: carefully composed and lovingly pieced together, without question, but not quite Genghis.

Dream Weapon is Genghis Tron wandering back down the path of self-discovery. Abandoning their previously preferred pastures, the quartet venture outwards, channeling the essence of that aforementioned creative spirit towards something new, fresh and exciting - for both themselves as artists as well as for their most ardent and open-minded of followers. It’s a double-edged sword, however, given that the band’s understandable refusal to throw away the goodwill associated with their name will no doubt mean that Dream Weapon is judged unfavourably against a sound that it never sought to replicate, such is the weight of their legacy. No matter how elegant and alluring of a comeback LP it may be, that all too natural impulse insists on creeping back in, whether fair, logical or otherwise. Irrespective of that stubborn longing for the past, it seems that Genghis Tron’s future is still rather bright. Dream Weapon, bold reimagining that it is, could well be the line in the sand that releases the four-piece from the shackles of their historic hallmarks. The dream of another Dead Mountain Mouth or Board Up the House may have been shattered, but a new, better dream may yet be forged from the pieces. Here’s to finding out.



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user ratings (108)
3.5
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2021


7104 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

13 years later, 1 new album.



It's out on Friday and it's very lovely pls do check it out: https://genghistron.bandcamp.com/album/dream-weapon

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2021


24224 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Oh boy I'm hyped for this.



Gonna read the rev later, nice, nice.

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Demon of the Fall
March 24th 2021


19073 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

All aboard the hype train! Will read this. Cheers.

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someone
March 24th 2021


2761 Comments


hyped all the more after the rev

bigguytoo9
March 24th 2021


988 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I own Dead Mountain Mouth and Board Up The House, was super stoked for this album cuz NICK is on drums but the singles arent doing it for me.

bloc
March 24th 2021


65209 Comments


Not a superfan of this band or anything, but the singles have been enjoyable.

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LeddSledd
March 24th 2021


4742 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

this is out?



def gonna check

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AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2021


7104 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

its out on Friday, gots me a promo #staff-flex



took me 6 or 7 listens to really fall for their new sound, hence the perhaps conflicted tone of the review, but it is certainly an interesting new direction for the band (even if I still prefer their old sound)

DavidYowi
March 24th 2021


544 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I haven’t listened to this band before but I want to go into w/out listening to the previous releases to see if it holds up on its own. I really liked the first single

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
March 24th 2021


7104 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

I would encourage that tbh. The main reason why I could see someone disliking this is because of how different it is to the band's previous works, so if you don't have that background then you're in a good spot.

Space Jester
March 24th 2021


9263 Comments


I really like their previous stuff and yea this is quite different. I don’t think I prefer it to the previous ones but as its own thing it’s a new and unique addition to their discography, and The Armed is pretty much carrying the torch for electro-core or whatever now anyway

trilo
March 24th 2021


3769 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

enjoyed this quite a bit

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Spec
March 25th 2021


36280 Comments


Is this already out?

Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
March 25th 2021


24224 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Tomorrow Spec (as in Friday 26th)

ieatbabies795
March 25th 2021


796 Comments


Was about to ask the same thing lol

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Dewinged
Staff Reviewer
March 25th 2021


24224 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

He literally wrote it on the first comment lol

Lasseg
March 25th 2021


152 Comments


cant wait to check this out. The singles were great

Demon of the Fall
March 25th 2021


19073 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Out of all the new shit I was maaaaybe gonna check tomorrow, this is currently winning the war. It’s been far too long since Board Up the House and although I’m expecting something different, I’m very much intrigued to find out what direction they’ve taken here.

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
March 25th 2021


7104 Comments

Album Rating: 3.7

hypehypehypehypehype

fatneckbeard
March 26th 2021


66 Comments


I'm sure this album will be great but I'm just sad we're not getting a "Genghis Tron" album.



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