Sicktronic – Darkage EP (UK \ Italy, 2016)

cover

Sicktronic is a broad music production project started in 2001 in the UK by initiative of Vincent M. Edgart and Claudio Victor Emanuel Borganti, then relocated in Italy since 2012. More specifically, the moniker also points to the homonymous industrial rock band held by the two founders. The EP Darkage marks the overall second album release for the above mentioned project, after 2012’s “Spiders”.

The brief EP, counting  19 minutes shy, was introduced to me by the band as “a weird industrial rock EP”…well, I like weird!
The sci-fi-ish, cold-colored, almost aseptic artwork leads us to a collection of dark electro-rock tunes which I wouldn’t see unfitting in The Matrix’s soundtrack! But let’s dig deeper.

Subliminal Darkage is a smart choice for an opener since it carries the overall mood of the whole EP, making up for a good introduction. What we hear is a dark, early Nine Inch Nails sounding (I’d say Pretty Hate Machine \ Downward Spiral era), electro-influenced kind of industrial rock with the peculiar gritty deep voice that would bring me Ministry  reminiscences as well.

“Sound’s gone
What the hell is going on?
No, we don’t, we don’t really want to know

Darkage, Subliminal Darkage, Fucking Garbage

Slide to unlock, sequenced deep within your code”

Thematically, I perceived the EP’s lyrics as a satire towards the present “web 2.0 society”, to the de-humanization, narcissism, and inertia brought by social media and the web in general which would bring us to that “subliminal dark age” indeed. These lyrics are the first sign pointing to the topic. I included more of my favorite bits and pieces along the review.

The follower SOMA and its straightforward rock beats brings a little bit more electronica to the rock foundations, with a vibe slightly peeping in darkwave territory, in my opinion at least.

“Fake reality
Corrupted then ignored
Contempt that grows within
Speak the words you learnt by heart

Failing system, can’t be undone
99 lost to 1
Now fake is better
Time for some new drugs

Failing system, can’t be undone
99 lost to 1
Sad, wrong, better
We don’t care to much in this brave new world”

Selfietime carries and expands on the above mentioned mood with the aid of a synthetic voice and more aggressive synths.

“Mindumbing is on
Celebrities choke
Success has a tag
#suckers

Go publish the wall
Just make sure they know
You’re digging the hole
#swallow

Anyway
Let’s take a selfie”

We then get to the chill instrumental Red Moon Rising, an electro track slowly progressing towards rock energy.
The EP closes with Gloomy Sunday, indeed a gloomy tune, with a deep chanting and an overall bluesy vibe in arrangement that would remind me of a 60’s track, or even something that would fit to the ending credits of a spaghetti western!

I enjoyed the EP, a nice easy-listening experience and varied enough to keep me interested. Cheers to Sicktronic for this effort, hope to hear more from them soon!

 

Tracklist
1. Subliminal Darkage
2. SOMA
3. Selfietime
4. Red Moon Rising
5. Gloomy Sunday

Label: Self-released
Links
Website | Facebook |BandCamp
Release Date: May 15, 2016
Reviewed by Rizzo

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