“It’s provocative, it gets the people going!” was the quote that popped into my mind after hearing The Toxic Avenger’s newest music—it’s an LP—and that is because the album is provocative, among other things.
While it may seem strange to start an album review on a music blog with a quote from a completely unrelated song, filed under a completely different genre, by two artists rather than one, that is actually a quote that has been reappropriated for a song, from a movie, it seemed like the most fitting thing to do while reflecting upon the LP’s story. I say “LP’s story,” because if there are a couple of things that this album has, they are a story and a consistently freaking killer synth line. I will get to the second one after a few words about the first.
The first track, “Nu 1553” begins and is punctuated with samples of a man’s voice and airport announcements: a plane is taking off, and either the artist or the listener has apparently boarded, strapped him or herself in, and oh, the anticipation! The beginning of the song is slow and melodic, almost joyful, unabashedly anticipatory, upon reflection. Once the slap comes in, there may be some headbanging.
Listening to the track for the first time—without the sample for context—might have inspired the thought, “Oh, this would be good driving music,” or perhaps the less common, “I feel like I’m sitting on a plane right now.” However, the takeoff is sudden: double-time sets in for the drumline, everything becomes glitchy in a hurry and samples run rampant as the tempo changes insist on scratching up your ears’ equilibrium, and as if it was destiny, ANGST sets in and with it, its namesake: the second track.
The title track comes once the journey has set in—The Toxic Avenger apparently wanted to acclimate us to aero-musical travel before dropping the full power of his angsty LP upon us. He succeeded; “Angst” is comprised of four parts that run throbbing synthy threads through the LP, starting slow in “: One” and speeding up after the breakdown at 2:30 that runs for almost a minute (anticipation? angst?) and the bass drop that would inexplicably pull most listeners arms up at 3:30. This album does not let up on the hard electro, sick with samples (in a good way), that the quite toxic Simon Delacroix has made his name off of. Highlights of the album are its insistence on continuity and bumping bass, as well as the limitless remix potential of the countdown at 2:07 on the third track, “3/2/1.”
If you are feeling restless and in need of a virtual journey with catchy samples and catchier pumping synth, so was the Toxic Avenger, and the Angst LP is exactly what you need.