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Genghis Tron Board up the House

Genghis Tron - Board up the House
01. Board up the House
02. Endless Teeth
03. Things Don't Look Good
04. Recursion
05. I Won't Come Back Alive
06. City on a Hill
07. The Whips Blow Back
08. Colony Collapse
09. The Feast
10. Ergot
11. Relief
2008 Relapse Records

Reviewed by: Nick   //   Published: 2/20/2008

Successfully fusing electronics with metal and hardcore has always been a bit of an elusive task. Outside of obvious examples (Godflesh, etc.), a few bands have been up to the challenge in recent memory. Scarlet, Sex Positions, and even Dillinger (before they got a little carried away and tried to get away with such nonsense as "Black Bubblegum") have displayed a knack for mixing in the right electronic presence while still maintaining a strong heavy music backbone.

Enter Genghis Tron, a band often praised with such ludicrous genre names as cyber-grind and electro-core. Armed with a drum machine, an abundance of synth lines and an experimental attitude, this trio makes it very clear that they're willing to push the boundaries of the crossover genre of electronic metal on their Relapse debut, Board up the House.

But let's cut to the chase. This is a mess. Electronic drum beats clash with spastic bouts of nu-grind. Weak screams give way to even weaker singing. And the guitar tone sounds almost as electronic and preprocessed as the rest of the elements of the album. The disc's explosive tendencies and disjointed songwriting make it understandable why some would label this as grindcore, but feel free to ditch that silly notion immediately. This isn't Regurgitate. This isn't Brutal Truth. This is simply what would happen if nu-grind bands such as War from a Harlot's Mouth or Dance Hall Massacre were given unbridled access to a MicroKorg.

Board up the House begins with a subtle electronic beat before layering on gratuitously obnoxious synth lines. It's like Horse the Band, except that the oh-they're-just-doing-it-as-a-joke cover isn't exactly valid in this case. The track actually sounds promising as it erupts into a bit of spastic hardcore, but falls flat on its face as the frail, apathetic singing makes an appearance. Vocal variation can definitely aid in the dynamics of a record, but Genghis Tron's use of numerous vocal effects sucks the life out of the sung vocals throughout the entire disc. "City on a Hill" also provides a number of cringe-inducing moments, such as the terrible electronic groove at the thirty second mark, or the inclusion of the record's most annoying synth hook heard at the track's close.

The band's ambitiously experimental songwriting approach is respectable, but sadly, Board Up the House just doesn't have that many redeeming qualities. At its best, the album has a few clever mixes of metal and electronic elements, such as the Scarlet-esque moments in "Endless Teeth" and "The Feast," as well as a few catchy electronic interludes ("The Whips Blow Back" is a good example of what the band can achieve with a more focused songwriting style), but these moments are few and far between. The majority of Board up the House is simply a muddled mix of disorganized electronic and metallic elements that fails to provide an engaging listen.

Bottom Line: If you were expecting grind, walk away. If you were expecting a mind-blowing fusion of metal and electronic music, walk away. If you were expecting abrasiveness and dynamics, walk away. With Board up the House, Genghis Tron aimed for the stars. Maybe next time.

anonymous   posted 4/9/2010 9:00:37 PM
yeah seriously, any Dillinger name dropping in a review equals INSTANT f*ckING FAIL. f*ck lambgoat anyway, gays havent had a decent album reviewed in months.
Ha, what an asshole._   posted 11/21/2009 5:30:50 PM
Not only is this a f*cking great album, but only a real pretentious jerk would namedrop dillinger in his first paragraph, just to clarify the fact that you are way too f*cking brutal to listen to a groovy tune like black bubblegum.
anonymous   posted 12/24/2008 3:34:53 PM
9/10 (!)
kylet_   posted 6/9/2008 6:59:31 PM
You made the mistake of comparing it to grindcore.

Ryan _   posted 3/12/2008 8:41:51 AM
I was about 1 on 7 people who saw them when they came to my town I have been listening to genghis tron for quite some time now. I enjoy every cd they have made. Board up the house is different then dead mountain mouth which is different then Cloak Of Love but thats what Is balls about this band they change it up and godcity studios always does a good job soo I give it an 7/10

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