Nitzer Ebb: Industrial Complex CD Review (Major Records) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Friday, December 10, 2010

Nitzer Ebb: Industrial Complex CD Review (Major Records)

Earlier this year, Nitzer Ebb released Industrial Complex (Major Records), which marks their first album of new material since 1995’s Big Hit. Core duo Douglas McCarthy and Bon Harris are re-joined by Big Hit era percussionist Jason Payne and the band sounds remarkably fresh and relevant for having taken a fifteen year hiatus from the studio.

Continuing to mine the industrial dance/EBM sound, Industry Complex sounds like something that could have come out of Mute or Some Bizzare’s catalog from the mid-80s. The tracks range from the dark and sleazy to jackhammer pounding industrial dance beats. The disc starts out aggressively with the track “Promises” and, while song tempos vary, the band never loses its sense of urgency and intensity. Douglas McCarthy’s voice has held up well over the years and his vocals range from anthemic dance floor chants to oozing with a sense of cool malevolence on some of the slower numbers. There are a few tracks on Industrial Complex that should be familiar to anyone who has seen the band live over the last couple years as the hard-hitting “Payroll” and the Depeche Mode sounding “Down on Your Knees” have been part of the set for the last few go-arounds. Adding to the Depeche Mode comparison, Martin Gore added (somewhat buried) vocals to “Once You Say”. The overall sound of the disc is full but edgy and uncluttered so the music doesn’t tip over like some of the tracks on Big Hit.

Nitzer Ebb seems to be coming through in concert on a regular basis since reuniting in 2006. The band started the year by touring with like-minded Depeche Mode and just recently played a show at Gramercy Theater. Below is a live video of “Join in the Chant” from that show.

Nitzer Ebb is currently off the road but the band has a one-off date scheduled for January 28th of next year in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Nitzer Ebb