Review Source: Industrial.org
Artist: THINGS OUTSIDE THE SKIN
Release: You Knew It All Along
Label: Facility Records
Chvad SB has been making music for about 15 years or so now, first via the project Recherché’ and more recently with Things outside the skin. “You knew it all along” is the first I’ve heard of his stuff and I’m pretty ambivalent as to what I think of this disc. When I first put it on, I really didn’t like it at all, but after multiple listens, it started to grow on me. I can’t say I love it, but it definitely isn’t a total waste of plastic either.
Musically, this disc is pretty decent. It’s not a really new approach, but its nice and there is enough variety to not make you bored. Basically steady beats with nice synth melodies and guitar and bass thrown into the mix, sometimes drifting into a bit more rockish territory, but overall good. Basically a somewhat modified take on the 80’s and early 90’s industrial rock/ coldwave acts with a kind of goofy tinge. Not exactly the type of stuff worth drooling over, but good. No, my main beef here lies with the vocal delivery and the lyrics.
The delivery here is for the most part deadpan distorted talking/ shouting/ rapping, bringing to mind stuff like Revolting Cocks and some Ministry, only with a somewhat more goofy and wacky Devo vibe. I actually can get into the aforementioned bands vocals, but the specific styles here just get on my nerves, as does what is being said a lot of the times. I really agree with the “fuck bush” sentiment, and a lot of the social commentary here, but the juvenile nature of the lyrics really bug me. It just seems really heavy handed and kinda trite in a punk rock way, especially the peta friendly anti-beef anthem “Cow tippin'”, which spots the brilliant chorus of “cow tippin’, yeah yeah yeah yeah!”. I’m really not trying to be mean, as I think I understand where the dudes coming from, but I just can’t get into that type of stuff, its just rubs the wrong way, maybe because I was writing similar things a few years back. I mean, this guy has to at least be in his late twenties, and it just seems immature to me. But when it comes down to it, I do agree with most of his points. I just wish they were expressed in a better fashion.
Having said all that, I want to reiterate that I don’t hate this. I do like it, I just think there are some major flaws. But hey, anybody who can cover the spice girls and still sound cool deserves some respect. And their Devo cover is cool too. This isn’t completely my thing, but I think a lot of other people out there may really dig it. So don’t just suck up my opinion, go judge for yourself!
-review by Royce Icon