De Staat: Machinery

~ Friday, 25 February 2011
Do you remember King Kurt? Remember watching the psycho billies slam dancing at your local student union? Well this much maligned minor sub-culture would have raved about this new album from Dutch band De Staat if they only heard the first track Ah, I See. However, this band are not a one trick pony, eclecticism is the order of the day. A musical force of nature that combines sweeping industrial soundscapes, 1950s style cinematic grooves and Led Zepp style riffing, grooving over Chilli Pepper funk would have soon made a psycho billies quiff wilt.

But hey this is 2011 and there is no time (apparently) for such regimented sub-culture snobbery. This melting pot of mayhem can be exemplified in the Flying Lizards/Devo stylee of new single Sweatshop or the sweeping 50s delivery of I’ll Never Marry You. There is even time for an American army marching rap in Old Macdonald Don’t Have No Farm No More and some pseudo ska on the track Psycho Psycho.

Arguably, there are some 80s style dodgy moments in Tumbling Down which to me sounds like an Art of Noise B-side and Keep Me Home sounds like a Queen album track and not one on the greatest hits. The industrial tones do dominate this album but don’t let that put you off; this is no downbeat grey machine even if the final track Back to the Grind tries its best to do so.

The best song on the album is undoubtedly the poorly titled I’m A Rat which has a great backbeat, even better riffs and a stinging falsetto. It is also the most commercial/danceable track here and one that with the right airplay could break this band in the good old USA. Get some girls in the video chaps, it's sure to work. Destination Zulu Land it isn’t but that’s no bad thing.

[][][] (3/5)

Review by Captain Dhilin Kunderan