Saturday, 6 April 2019

S.T.A.B. Electronics - Enemy of Pigs

S.T.A.B. Electronics - Enemy of Pigs - 2019 - LP/MC - Unrest Productions.

I was on the phone to someone tonight talking about music, we got to talking about the S.T.A.B. gig last Saturday and why I like S.T.A.B. so much, I didn’t do a good job of explaining why. So the purpose of this review is to persuade you to get this album and explain why S.T.A.B. is so good. I am feeling the pressure.

Like may listeners I like to discover stuff that I haven’t heard before, but sadly with a good percentage of Death Industrial and Power Electronics I often arrive after the party and a lot of the older acts that still exist today are a parody tribute to their former selves and I can’t be arsed anymore paying daft discogs prices for that stuff. And what’s the point of spending all my cash doing that and going to all these fucking US and Euro Industrial Fests to see the best acts and line ups - I prefer to hold out for a stronger local scene instead. Reading a recent interview in Special Interests that you’ve all no doubt read, led me to S.T.A.B. and I took the dive and bought two S.T.A.B. albums. It was exciting for two reasons, the standout tracks on Day of the Male absolutely blew my head right off, it is a now project, next level and better than most stuff from back in the day and now if I'm honest. Finding a good, present day act is a massive reward to me as a listener.  Months later I’m in London in a crowded room while S.T.A.B. shouts in my face, it wasn’t glamorous, it was raw, real, now and it seemed to happen at me. As soon as the gig was over, I went back to the hotel and wrote my review, I could have made lots of new friends and connections, but I really wanted to hold on to what I saw and heard. As soon as I got home the next day, I played Enemy of Pigs through twice and was really surprised.

Repeated vocal samples of ‘Mother, Mother Mother, please’ form the base of High Infant Mortality, whilst drones radiate ominously, and the vocals rage away from the background to the foreground continuously. The drones do tease slightly at the past while the vocal is anchored in the present; I feel in the middle of the elements experiencing the dialogue.

Slugs delivers aggressive, threatening humming feedback and faltering wall noise while the vocal is way uglier and more direct. The vocal is more like what was spat in my face last Saturday so it subconsciously seems directed at me whilst the electronics try desperately to interrupt the diatribe, they try, they don’t give up, but they don’t win either. I don’t know if I am taking this personally or happily reminiscing.

Her Dead eyes is horrible, overly descriptive to me it seems to describe the horror of extreme porn/sex, but it makes you think, it really challenges you, everything yet nothing is revealed, the high-pitched squealing vocal is less effects laden than previous recordings, it raw, rank and very real.  This is the end of the first side, it’s muddier, yet vocally a lot less effects laden than earlier work and retreats into the murk to deliver a horrible, harsher dose of reality.

Of Misandry is sampled dialogue that serves as a bass for massive drones to spread their horror as the vocals distort in the background, by doing this, you’re forced to concentrate on the vocal. The drones are as radioactive as they can be, as if diseased and echoing death. The gender war continues within S.T.A.B.

Sic Semper Tyranis (Thus always to tyrants) radiates sickness as the drones intensify continuously and the vocal spews and curses away from foreground to background. The electronics are simple and effective. Violent Reprise boasts an inhuman, grotesque vocal and sicker electronics, the album is intensifying continually. Prayers form I am going To Die (And so are You), they’re temporarily eclipsed by urgent, repetitive electronics as the vocal really comes to the forefront, it’s as if the best is saved until last, vocally.  The sample’s continual re-emergence amplifies the songs context massively.

Enemy of Pigs isn’t dominated by a few Standout tracks, it is consistently strong and I’d argue that the vocals don’t reach the same levels of intensity as Day of the Male did (barr I am going to die). In a way it steps back to find a solid continuity and really defines S.T.A.B. as an act in its’ own right - there’s way less Homage on this album. There are newer, interesting vocal techniques demonstrated throughout – Sic Semper and violent are key examples. Here the act moves on, progresses, it’s stripped back reinforced by some conceptually strong sampling and dirtier, muddy electronics. I’d say its way more depraved from the inside, rather than projecting outside themes, but that’s been ongoing too. In some ways this is a person becoming the performance, the self’s past and present are the theme, but done in an original way. S.T.A.B. was in the right circles from the outset (Unrest, Urishma, Filth and Violence) from looking and listening it got better until it got this good. But is this radioactive, headfuck slab of vinyl S.T.A.B.’S best or one of its best? Time will tell, but for now, it is stuck in my head and I can’t stop listening, I really wish I could, but I can’t. Let’s see if anyone matches it this year.

Choppy Noodles 2019.

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