Be My Enemy – This Is The New Wave
Label: Bit Riot Records
One thing that has been missing from recent underground bands is energy. Not just in terms of apparent programming shortfalls but also a distinct lack of passion in regards to lyrical intonations and live instrumentation. Too many bands fall into a habit of thinking that just because a song has some dance-floor potential it can be half-assed and people will automatically like it. This is absolutely not so with the U.K.’s Phil Barry (of Cubanate fame) and his new project Be My Enemy. Released late last fall on Bit Riot Records is the crushing debut The New Wave. Blending live guitar shreds reminiscent of the early glory days of Industrial with modernized Electronica synth work and Punk Rock vocal aesthetics, this band wants to let you know that attitude and aggressive energy is the calling card. This is not your daddy’s (or your kid’s) Rock And Roll- it’s something far more adventurous and ultimately satisfying.
The opening track “The New Wave” shows both a flair for Wave electronics and the punishing (yet strangely refreshing) vocal style. The fact that you can understand the lyrics because the vocals are not too overly voxed or heavily distorted helps set them apart from peers as well. “Helter Skelter” has arguably the best electronic knob-fiddling melodies in the bunch to go with a decimating Industrial club beat that needs to be blasted on the dance circuit worldwide as often and loud as possible. Tracks like “Wasted Life” and “Ghost In The Machine” have Techno like choruses threaded underneath wild Punk guitars and vicious Speedcore vocals to give interesting depth to the package. The blending of so many genres and styles (Metal, Glitch, Darkwave, Punk, Techno, etc.) into one frenzied project makes this album take on the feel of a live concert experience and vault this into must-have status.
With every kind of praise there is invariably the reverse argument and this album is no different. Every track, although not sounding too much like any other, seemed a tad compositionally safe on later spins. The pounding beats and screeching guitar riffs actually became a little stale by the end of the disc for me, which is a crying shame since the whole experience is emotionally raw and genuine all the way through. While everything is executed brilliantly I truly feel like Barry could have done MORE than what was presented. In my opinion a few more layered electronic facets could have been explored and we’d still have an interesting album but instead he took a known path to success. Of course I’m being critical but knowing the band has latent talent to begin with sets the bar higher right from the get go in the mind of potential fans. What is here is great but personally I was left wanting a tad bit more variety.
Clocking in under an hour seems a bit short by today’s album running time standards, until you realize this album is full force and full volume the entire running time. No slow songs, no breathers, just full on aural assault that makes it hard it to make it through the album in one go even for someone who enjoys Metal. While I hate to nit-pick, this album became almost too much to handle even in its lessened dosage, which may not keep a picky fan’s attention purely due to being overwhelmed. Perhaps it would have served Be My Enemy well to have taken a track or two to slow down at some point, if only to break up the emotional monotony of being fast-and-angry the entire time, although fans of excess energy will go berserk.
In hindsight, I am disappointed this release became buried in the shuffle with the other late-year releases of 2010 because it should easily have made a ton more best-of lists. It is a shining example of the Nu Metal and Techno Industrial crossover bands that have gained popularity in recent years and sets Be My Enemy as a new tour-de-force to keep an eye and ear on. This album will appeal to all sorts of fans of all sorts of dark genres and has enough singles that you DJ’s can spice up an Industrial dance night with. I can’t stress enough how this is a must for anyone who enjoys similar bands. Grab your toughest stompy boots and thickest earplugs and prepare for The New Wave of sonic dominance.
Must have tracks: “The New Wave” “Helter Skelter” “Death Drive” “Wasted Life” “All American Psycho” “Ghost In The Machine” “HARRP”
For fans of: Angelspit, Jesus On Extasy, Eisbrecher, FGFC820, Cyanotic, Dope Stars Inc., Aesthetic Perfection, C-Drone-Defect, Zeromancer, Acumen Nation, Uberbyte, Spetznaz, S.A.M.
1.The New Wave
3.Break Your Body
7.All American Psycho
8.Start The Revoloution
9.Ghost In The Machine