Albeit Living is an arch comment on today’s socio-politico-orchestrated chaos of terror-firma: everyday lives of hardship worsened through media manipulation and moral malaise. The slo-erosion of post-neo-liberalism has its soundtrack at last, as New Rome burns eternally on Capitolist Hill and Emperor Zero diddles the masses this album proffers salvation through looking back to show the way forward (avoiding retrofetishism).

Opener ‘One of these’ is a nag-nag-nagging of the senses like Sheffield dancefloor industrialists Cabaret Voltaire crossed with prescient cyber-seers Sigue Sigue Sputnik. The end product a veritable cacopho-noise designed to shake spiritual architecture until it bleeds with its demands of ‘I want MORE’. A masterclass in clusterphobia.

The Chameleonsesque ‘Who killed Six’ is named for the demise of front-vox Brady Keehn’s Korg synthesiser, a mournful love letter to the man-machine axis. Circuits spark as connections fade, the lights dim, kaput out. ‘Ripped’ is all-out aural assault as it claws and tears away, lacerating, scratching and pulling, a metronomic echoplex of slash and burn.

The inner walls collapse brick by brick on ‘Mental’, a flailing descent into madness as sound and vision collide in front of you. A dissonance resonance.

Imagine Joy Division covering The Mekons’ ‘Where were you’ and you’d have ‘Sterilized’, a three-minute warning to us all: beware the toxic consumables, the poisoned water and the radioactive waving goodbyes of Terror-Pharma. A pounding-sounding thrum-phony to the perils of being prescribed the pills marked ‘numb’ and ‘dumb’.

Hyper-sonic subterranea beckons on the paranoiac ‘Situations’ and is realised on the punk-clang (s)existential ‘Crisis’.

The finale comes with Hades’ own club anthem ‘AVC’, alone in an enclosed doom-room, nothing but ‘your’ self-image reflected back at you, the demons rush in. Game over, you’ve lost.

Where most ‘popular’ muzak is overly polished, too refined and sandblasted of personality this mean, lean, fat-free album is a reminder of an era when amateur techsploration combined with futurist fancy resulted in ‘other’ sounds and styles. Alien chimes for alienated times.

INSTRUCTIONS: Consume. Absorb. Repeat.

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