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Engines of Aggression [reviews]
Inhuman Nature |Priority Records, 1994|

01. All The Rage, 02. We All Fall Down, 03. Reality OD, 04. NYC Mass Hysteria, 05. Laugh Track, 06. Disconnected, 07. The Cynic, 08. Come Alive, 09. Spiritual Machine Gun, 10. Big Bad Karma, 11. Inhuman Nature, 12. Strange

I had a feeling that the sound of the album supported my former opinion about bands from California while listening to Inhuman Nature. It's full, widely spaced, positive and even tempting when presented by easy-going Americans driven only by aspirations to become rock stars. These features are rooted in the music of Engines of Aggression, who are mentioned by Skumlove as personal favorites (another band from Los Angeles).

Engines of Aggression was founded in 1992, when guitar player Rik Schaffer posted an advertisement in a local newspaper looking for musicians to form a band. He was joined by Tripp Holland (voc), Craig Dollinger (drums) and Bulldog (bass). Although, Bulldog was replaced by Zack Bezner on this album. As a newly created band, Engines of Aggression was opening shows for Curve, Sister Machine Gun, Course of Empire, Danzig and Rollins Band to perform songs released on an EP entitled Speak. The EOA line-up then changed once more sometime around 1999.

Inhuman Nature isn't a true industrial rock album. It seems the best industrial rock albums were released by mainstream bands of that genre in 1994. However, it speaks to their integrity that EOA didn't follow trends and preferred to stay faithful to the core style of rock music. I mean, I can hear a little bit of sampling but it doesn't dominate the overall sound.

On the other hand, songs like "Come Alive" and "Spiritual Machine Gun" make me think of the industrial rock act known as Machines of Loving Grace, while "The Cynic" brings to mind some echoes of L.A. Guns, though these kind of inspirations are always welcome. There's... a Prodigy-like sample in "NYC Mass Hysteria" while the song "All The Rage" has a nice video (watch here).
The sound of the song "Big Bad Karma" continuously reminds me of the music of Porno For Pyros somehow.

Finally, the track "Disconnected" has very cool features, since it was recorded in an old-school style with the song title directly supported by a bunch of samples related to a broken call connection combined with answering machine messages or voicemails.

In fact, there are no weak songs on this album (although I can't say that I liked "Strange" very much either), but as I wrote above, this release isn't representative of the whole of the industrial rock music style. It's full of guitar driven and easy-going rock music, except for the title song "Inhuman Nature" due to the fact that it is the darkest track on the album.

I do highly recommend that listeners whom enjoy the West Coast sound become acquainted with “The sound of EOA”. It is distinctive and prevalent on this album. I would also like to recommend following the bands updates on their Myspace profile in the meantime, before the new release (industrial rock or not) comes out sometime in the near future.

(Katarzyna 'NINa' Górnisiewicz, 10/02/2010. Proofreading: Scott M. Owens. Must not be used for promotional or commercial purposes. See a Legal Note for the copyrights below)

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