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Album Review

Just when you thought Six Finger Satellite's noise mongering had crested on 1995's Severe Exposure, they returned the following year with more ugliness, more abrasion and more skull-shaking absurdity filtered through a dark sense of humor that couldn't be any more black. There's less reliance on guitars, placed in favor of more of the confrontational keyboards used to lesser extents on the band's prior releases. Plenty enough of these elements are crammed into the 33 minutes contained here. There are more variations of mania at play, not just in the manner of jagged rhythms, screamed vocals, and chunky rhythms. "Slave Traitor" begins in a startling fashion but retreats into a doomy plod of anemic synth tones; "Do the Suicide" is every parent's nightmare, a screeching, caterwauling menace of a hyper-industrial rhythm with the vocals consisting solely of, "Suicide! Do it now"; "Perico" is similarly rhythmic and adroit with another array of effects, including flapping fart-noises and Darth Vader-like manipulation of the vocals; "The Great Depression," an apt closer, is downright oppressive, a bottomless tarpit of murk and paranoia. The only true moment of respite is "Coke and Mirrors," a relatively relaxed robofunk workout with a peasoup-peasoup dance beat and all sorts of oddball, synth-generated geegaws. As most of the tracks last between two and three minutes, nothing really outstays its welcome. Heard with softer ears, two-to-three seconds might be more than enough. Regardless, it's oh so much more fun than Atari Teenage Riot.


Formed: Providence, RI

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Indie electro-rock futurists Six Finger Satellite formed in Rhode Island in 1992. Originally comprised of singer/keyboardist J. Ryan, guitarists John MacLean and Peter Phillips, bassist Chris Dixon, and drummer Rick Pelletier, the group soon issued their Sub Pop label debut EP Weapon, followed in 1993 by the full-length The Pigeon Is the Most Popular Bird. Both Phillips and Dixon were gone from the band by the time of 1994's Machine Cuisine 10", recorded exclusively with electronic instruments; bassist...
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Paranormalized, Six Finger Satellite
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