Blatant Propoganda (1999)

Review Source: Blatant Propoganda issue #3

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

Things Outside the Skin (T.O.T.S.) “God in a Box” TOTS are from Chicago and continue the tradition of raw-hide robotic yet somehow funky industrial electro as developed by such outfits as The Revolting Cocks. Comparisons can also be made with the Beastie Boys, Babyland, Mr. Bungle, Klute and even Skinny Puppy ala “Vivisect VI” at times too. The music consists of often pounding sometimes slow and hypnotic electro percussion with eerie keyboards, samples, and pitch-shift effected vocals that often sound a little like the Cookie Monster (but not in a death metal way), more a well-done humorous manner. One reason why I like TOTS is because they have a sense of humour and thereby stand out from the rest of the American crowd of ‘serious’ goth-electro that’s the dogma these days. I particularly dig the cover jacket and cheeky liner notes outlining the ‘God in a Box’ theme which comes from the same school of humour as much of EYE-e.l.f.-Blatant Propaganda’s: – poking fun at consumerism as well as the gullibility and downright horrific stupidity of people in general. As the enlightening liner notes reveal, by owning “God in a Box” you can commit any sin you wish, and be absolved by owning this ticket to heaven and enacting the special TOTS ritual herein described. I’m not revealing what it is – buy the CD! Furthermore, if you do something really BAD, you can purchase the optional plug-in from TOTS called “Blame Others ver4.3”. That is, create scapegoats. Worth it just for the witty liner notes, but hey, the music is very well-produced and silly-funky too! I’m sure it won’t be long before you hear about TOTS in the news as responsible for several US high-school massacres due to the track “They’re exactly alike”… it really is a recipe for going nuts. But, don’t worry, owning the CD will absolve YOU from any mass-murders you may commit from listening to it. 16 tracks over 60 minutes.

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