Greymachine - Disconnected
Hydra Head
Industrial, Sludge, Noise
9 songs (1:10:59)
Release year: 2009
Greymachine, Hydra Head
Reviewed by Goat

For a project featuring two giants of the Post-Metal realm like Isis’ Aaron Turner and Jesu/Godflesh frontman Justin K. Broadrick, you’d expect Hydra Head to spend a little more on promotion than they have. After all, the pair are rightly legends, Turner for making Isis the bearer of fabulous offerings like this year’s Wavering Radiant and Broadrick for his part in making Industrial Metal a genre that we can be proud of. Here, along with Dave Cochrane and Diarmuid Dalton, the music created on Disconnected is far from the aural beauty of their day projects, but instead heads for as harsh a territory as they can manage. The main element here is the slow pulse of the deep programmed bass, guitars and other noise floating around as the drums beat out tribal rhythms not unlike classic GodfleshGreymachine are closer to them than any other of the bands mentioned thus far.

What Greymachine does is live up to its name, almost perfectly. This could be a completely instrumental project – vocals are but intermittent, and relegated to the background. On the one track where I noticed them at all, We Are All Fucking Liars, they were distant drones almost drowned out by the music itself; this won’t be an album that everyone loves instantly. It’s the kind of soundtrack album that slightly odd people will love, the sorts that genuinely enjoy Noise music and can appreciate an album where eight-minute tracks are the norm – people like me, in other words. I’ll admit to loving Disconnected from the go, the Dub influence in tracks like Sweatshop having an addictive groove that is instantly reminiscent of the early careers of the Greymachine members. If you enjoy early Godflesh, then you’ll love Greymachine without a doubt, the spiritual attack of Streetcleaner turned a little more dissonant and meandering here, the riffs equally as depressive but the overall technology improved enough to make Greymachine a 21st Century band.

It’s hard to say who had the upper hand in songwriting. Heavy pounders like Wolf At The Door end with Jesu-esque distorted vocals, and there’s something strangely catchy about Vultures Descend that makes the Industrial hodgepodge of its ingredients a wonderfully danceable whole – even if that dance is more akin to the woeful shuffling of post-apocalyptic zombies than something that Beyoncé could shake it to. The fizzing electronics on When Attention Just Isn’t Enough soon change to droning pulses that hum and quiver without mercy – what being slowly electrocuted must sound like – whilst if you can refrain from air-drumming to the sweet rhythms of Wasted or nodding to the urgent riffings of Just Breathing then you’re hard to please, indeed. There’s quite definitely a specific sort of listener that Disconnected is aimed at, one that knows Justin Broadrick’s output well and shares his love and appreciation of the influence the underground music world has taken from Killing Joke, and frankly we know who we are. If the thought of spending over seventy minutes in the presence of Broadrick, Turner and co whilst they make their wonderfully chaotic Industrial clamour is a pleasing one, then Greymachine is for you. On reflection, it’s no wonder that Hydra Head didn’t spend much on marketing this – its appeal is select, and most definitely not for everyone.

Killing Songs :
Vultures Descend, Wasted, We Are All Fucking Liars, Just Breathing
Goat quoted 81 / 100
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