Category Archives: reviews

Black Monday (1999)

source: Black Monday

Artist: things outside the skin
Release: God in a Box
Label: Facility Records

The music is the modern musical equivalent of the early hammer horror schlock out of Hollywood. At once it is
intriguing and full-of-crap. God in a Box slaps the ‘industry’ in the face, laughs, and slaps again. Blips, ticks, buzzing, drumming, calamity, fear…

-larry dean miles

Black Channel (1999)

source: Black Channel (radio, Germany, paraphrased)

Artist: things outside the skin
Release: God in a Box
Label: Facility Records

I would describe t.o.t.s. or things outside the skin as electro/experimental /industrial/thrash. They have real innovative and unconventional song structures that have immense power. Fail Safe (track 10) is hard, very dark and its electronic sounds are powerful. Good stuff. I like them a lot… these things outside the skin.

-Black Channel

Bad Mouth ‘zine (1996)

source: Bad Mouth ‘zine #8

Artist: Recherche’ (pre-t.o.t.s.)
Release: If I’m the Evil… Find the Evil in Me
Label: Facility Records

I can’t think of any industrial bands that are darker than Recherche’. Undoubtedly the best industrial  act to come out of Norfolk. The music is pure programmed aggression and voice distortion. “Distorted Thoughts, Distorted Visions” is a real gem, but the entire tape is truly exceptional. Not as predictable as the techno-like bands of Europe (KMFDM, Blok 57) and grittier than the slicked-up corporate industrials (NIN, Gravity Kills), Recherche’ will definitely carve a new niche in the genre.

– Albert Holaso

Back Again Musik Magazin (2005)

Review Source: Back Again Musik Magazin
Official Site: www.backagain.de

Artist: THINGS OUTSIDE THE SKIN
Release: You Knew It All Along
Label: Facility Records

The band starting the CD with lyrics like “Burn the mother-fucking White House down and burn Bush too”, makes me feel somehow, instantly sympathetic. Not that I would promote or support murdering George Bush but sometimes it takes radical words to make a point. After all he is personally responsible for thousands of dead in Afghanistan and Iraq. Innocent civilians, the old, women and children included.

The Band THINGS OUTSIDE THE SKIN continues the radical lyrics with the song “You Knew it All Too Long”. Musically, there is no compromise. Fast charging electronic samples and hard guitars… always powerful. From the fast driving rock in “American Way” with strong distorted voices to the gloomy and imposingly sad yet psychedelic “Spice Up Your Life”. If predecessors from the 80’s, like The Klinik and Skinny Puppy, would have made a recording together it might have sounded similar to this CD. 23 Tracks and 70 minutes long it has diverse remixes. Very intense although this CD is also dappled with a whimsical side, including a minimal amount of dance rhythm and just a touch of hip hop tunes.

THINGS OUTSIDE THE SKIN has been on the scene since 1997 and has produced five CDs. The musicians have partnered on various projects making numerous compilations. Despite the anger that is projected through in their music, these men as pictured in their booklet, seem decidedly pleasant. I liked the band best when they present their inside emotions, like with “Another Dead Comedian”… when the sounds become even darker, more troubled and distorted. A good band that can influence and assimilate all styles of music and therefore, find their own niche. Watching a live performance would probably be explosive!

-review by A.P.
(TRANSLITERATION BY Marjorie Wood and Emma Olsen)

Artist: THINGS OUTSIDE THE SKIN
Title: You Knew It All Along
Label: Facility Records

Eine Band, deren CD mit der Textzeile „Burn the mother-fucking White House down and burn Bush too“ beginnt, ist mir irgendwie gleich sympathisch. Nicht, dass ich befürworten würde, George W. Bush zu ermorden, aber manchmal bedarf es radikaler Worte, zumal der Mann für Tausende Tote in Afghanistan und Irak persönlich verantwortlich ist, was unzählige Zivilisten, Alte, Frauen und Kinder mit einschließt.

Die Band THINGS OUTSIDE THE SKIN startet also schon mal gut durch und legt mit „You Knew It All Too Long“ eine CD vor, die auch im weiteren Verlauf textlich radikal erscheint. Musikalisch geht es ebenso kompromisslos zu, wobei es fast durchgehend elektronisch aus den Boxen tönt, selbst die harten Gitarren scheinen gesamplet zu sein. Powervoll ist es immer, mal eher rockig-treibend wie im Opener „American Way“, dann wieder zurückhaltender und düster wie im großartigen „Spice Up Your Life“, das fast schon psychedelisch ist. Dazu meist eine stark verzerrte Stimme. Wenn die frühen The Klinik und Skinny Puppy Ende der 80er Jahre gemeinsam eine Platte gemacht hätten, könnte es so ähnlich geklungen haben. 23 Tracks in rund 70 Minuten, darunter diverse Remixe, sind allerdings auch etwas anstrengend. Aufgelockert wird das Ganze hier und da auch durch minimale Dance-Rhythmen und winzige Hip Hop-Anklänge.

THINGS OUTSIDE THE SKIN haben seit 1997 schon fünf CDs und zahlreiche Samplerbeiträge veröffentlicht und auch vorher haben die Musiker in verschiedenen Projekten mitgewirkt. Trotz der Bösartigkeit, die musikalisch rüber kommt wirken die Herren auf dem Foto im Booklet ausgesprochen sympathisch. Mir gefällt die Band am besten, wenn sie ihre eingängige Seite präsentiert, wie in „Another Dead Comedian“ oder eben, wenn es düsterer wird und verstörende Sounds benutzt werden. Eine gute Band, die alle möglichen Einflüsse verarbeitet und sich dabei eine eigene Nische schafft. Dürfte live auch ziemlich knallen!

-review by A.P.

Americore Magazine (2005)

Review Source: Americore Magazine
Official Site: www.americoremagazine.com

Artist: THINGS OUTSIDE THE SKIN
Release: You Knew It All Along
Label: Facility Records

Brooklyn, NY’s industrial rockers Things Outside the Skin’s third full-length release contains a cavalcade of big synthetic beats, swirling effects, and a slew of vitriolic vocalizations. Making creepy music seems effortless for this trio of electronic gurus, as a plethora of scintillating sounds grab your ear’s attention as the pseudo rap of tracks like “The Most Appealing Thing” assaults you from the front. Mixing it up like Mike Patton meeting the Transplants on the homage to Phil Hartman “Another Dead Comedian” while taking the rave from the warehouse to your speakers on “Town & Country”, YOU KNEW IT ALL ALONG goes 22-tracks deep (incuding remixes and edits), leading you on a twisted ride through the minds of master musical manipulators that know their way around a synthesizer as well as they realize the power of a well-crafted song. If you dig left of center Goth rock, this group will not disappoint.

-review by Mike SOS

** review re-printed in www.earcandymag.com, www.thedelimagazine.com,
and in www.houstonmusicreview.com.