Youth Code ‘Commitment to Complications’ Review: Cali duo resurrect classic industrial with a modern twist.
I found myself recently lamenting the current state of industrial music. Why hasn’t one of my favorite genres received a musical revival like so many other 80’s/90’s musical movements?
Well thank Satan that I just discovered Youth Code, an L.A. duo featuring Ryan William George and Sara Taylor. In just a few short years they’ve earned the respect of industrial vets like Genesis P. Orridge, Skinny Puppy and Frontline Assembly.
The group’s new album, Commitment to Complications (due out April 8th on Dais Records) is a vibrant, gritty sophomore effort, produced by (former Frontline Assembly member) Rhys Fulber.
After kicking things off with the spooky instrumental Armed, the appropriately titled Transitions provides a rude awakening, conjuring the mechanized furor of Nine Inch Nails March With The Pigs.
The relentless title track is a love letter to EBM–a slamming fusion of Nitzer Ebb and Front 242 with an amphetamine fueled delivery, anchored by the dual vocals of Taylor’s granulated wail and the guttural delivery of Goatwhore’s Ben Falgoust.
There is a surprising amount of sonic terrain covered in the album’s 11 tracks: The Dust of Fallen Rome veers from pummeling verses to a haunting Darkwave chorus (featuring vocoder vox) while Doghead flirts with John Carpenter-esque synthwave.
Complications ably walks a tricky tightrope: enough retro clang and sneer for classic industrial diehards (the slamming Shift of Dismay’s lyrics even reference Ministry’s industrial classic Stigmata) while acting as a gateway drug for those not (yet) immersed in the sub-culture.
Click here for my interview with Ministry’s Al Jourgensen discussing his new project Surgical Meth Machine.
All the hallmarks of the genre are there: fried electronic furor, mysterious soundbites, nihilistic vocals (although some variety in the latter might help expand their sound) and hypnotic automaton beats. It’s an album whose complications are impossible not to commit to. Youth Code demands your full attention. Just give in.