Warm Gadget – Rituals EP
Release Date: 08/04/2021
Running Time: 28:12
Review by Beth Jones
I’m a simple girl, brought up staunchly on classical music, in a house where technology was shunned, Amish style. The very mention of anything that didn’t use ‘real’ instruments to make sound was enough to send my dad into an apoplectic rant about ‘proper music’ vs ‘modern rubbish’. So, by rights, Industrial Electronica shouldn’t appeal to me. Luckily, I always was the rebellious kind, allowing my mind to welcome any music. And, of all the discovery I went through in my teens, still one of the sounds that appeals to me the most is the metallic automaton of Industrial Metal. So, I’m always happy to discover new bands in this genre.
Today’s new name is Oregon, USA based Industrial/Alterative Metal band, Warm Gadget, and their latest EP, “Rituals”. Warm Gadget originally started making music together in 2009 but have been on hiatus for the last few years, with this being their comeback. The EP is made up of five main tracks, followed by a couple of remixes, and a live track.
Driven by some superb heavy synth, this EP packs a punch from the start. It’s got hints of Nine Inch Nails, Ministry, and The Prodigy (“Fat Of The Land” era) and reminds me a lot of another recent favourite of mine, Jayce Lewis. The ambient sounds and chunky basslines give it huge depth and expansiveness, the beats are metronomic, and the fuzzy guitars and vocals give it a dark and sleazy edge, which draws you in.
Opening with ‘New Industry’, the EP kicks into heavy synth and riffing guitars from the start, with angry vocals delivering punchy lyrics fit for the nightmarish dystopian reality of modern life. This sound conjures up images of destruction and demise; Visions of deserted city streets, strewn with litter and decay following some sort of catastrophic event, playing out in stilted jerks, with washed out colours, and lots of forced perspective. I don’t know whether that’s the music, or just my warped mind at play, but it works!
‘If Only I Could’ is a hell of a track. NIN meets The Prodigy in style. It’s the heaviest track on the EP, and has a massive drop section in it, which would be some real fun in an incredibly violent pit. Damn shame I’m too old and broken to pit now. I would’ve been well involved back in the day!
‘Symptoms’ is another great track. Here, the synth plays second fiddle to some crushing guitar riffage in the verses. It does thrust back, full force, in the chorus though, and vocally we get some cleaner vocals in the mix, too. Nice. When it comes to the additional remixes of this track that also feature on the EP, the Witch Eyes remix wins for me!
All in all, this is a tasty EP. It doesn’t reinvent the wheel, but it does what it sets out to do, and is produced superbly too, making it a crisp and satisfying listen. I don’t think it needed the live track though, because the sound quality isn’t as clear, making it stick out from the rest, not in a good way. But a very enjoyable listen none the less. I will certainly be keeping an eye on these guys in the future, to provide a new name to my collection of ‘soundtracks for a dystopian nightmare’!
‘If Only I Could’ (Official Video)
01. New Industry
02. Full Of It
03. If Only I Could
05. Dead To Me
06. Symptoms – Witch Eyes RMX
07. Symptoms – Snowbeasts RMX
08. Just When I Was Doing Something Good (Live)
Austin Williams – Bas
Colten Williams – Guitar, Synths, Programming, Production
Tim Vester – Vocals
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