Primes (Action Driver)
The downfall of industrial and hard electronic music is its natural tendency to depress the hell out of many people. Despite local electro-punkers Primes' goofy stage presence, snotty one-liners, and clumsy charm, their self-titled debut will likely be spun at S&M nights at your local goth club, not for clean-cut indie-rock kids. Regardless, the duo of bass- and synth-player Jack Duckworth and programmer Michelle Synnot have made the next logical step from the former's old project A Luna Red. The group takes its electronic and hardcore punk influences to the extreme, creating spooky sonic landscapes of digital squawks and fuzzed-out bass tones. Duckworth's vocals shy from the new-wave croon of another of his previous bands, Radio Berlin. He now spits out slithery, sexed-out whispers and harsh nasal screams, with both styles duking it out over top of the erratic, seizure-inducing drum machine fills of "Whatever it Takes".
Similarly, Synnot's deep vocals waver along sketched-out beats on the eerie pop song "Make it Easier", the singer coming off as a female Mark Mothersbaugh from "Peek-A-Boo"-era Devo.
The hard edge of this 10-song debut can leave pop fans feeling uncomfortable, but the sleaziness of its synths might seduce even the most innocent listener into shuffling onto the death-disco floor.