Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Review: Intro5pect - "Record Profits"
Back in 1999, the Faint had recently begun their transformation from a Braid-influenced post-punk band to an electronic-leaning dance-punk group, !!! had been tinkering around and releasing singles, and Big Audio Dynamite’s foray into techno-punk was over a decade in the past. But no act had successfully blended the tenacity and politics of punk rock with the programmed beats and synthesizers of electronic RPM until Intro5pect debuted on the fledgling GC Records with their Education 7-inch. After high-profile tours with the likes of Dead to Me, Citizen Fish and Leftover Crack, a full-length on A-F Records and an EP on Blacknoise with Stza Crack, Intro5pect returns to where it all started with Record Profits.
The seven-song EP gets going with what is likely to be one of the catchiest non-Orgcore songs of the year, “Work to Live.” The choppy `77 guitars are layered alongside 8-bit synths, blipping and bleeping over a driving digital rhythm. “Fuck Your Flag” smacks of a poppier Anti-Flag with male and female vocals, much like “Sound Is the Enemy,” a riff-heavy choral manifesto propelled forward by a breakneck beat, save for the chunky call-and-response breakdown that takes up the middle.
The band really hits their stride by the time “Collateral” comes around, thick with a rolling bassline and flittering percussion and made memorable with a booming chorus and sound bite collage that seems to take aim at every president since the invention of the microphone. “The System” is fairly baldfaced politically, with a chorus of “Fuck the system / Fuck the system / Fuck the system / Tear it down” but blends in some nice synth work, while “Turnaround” is the disc’s most straightforward punk number. Keyboardist Sara Zaidi takes charge of “Plastic World,” both vocally and instrumentally, as the Metroid-styled keys rise to dominance when she’s not singing about feeling constrained by the status quo -- er rather, not caring about feeling constrained by the status quo.
Intro5pect are in fine form on Record Profits, having finally figured out how to diversify their sound while still creating a patently individual style. The seven songs of Record Profits hurl forth with dizzying ferocity and don’t let up while showcasing the seamless blend of electronic dance music and digital punk that has become Intro5pect’s calling card.