John Fryer might be one of the most important producers in the music scene. Having worked with Nine Inch Nails, Depeche Mode, Cocteau Twins, and many more such artists, his work in the darker side of music has brought about albums that still inspire and astound listeners the world over, not to mention his own work with This Mortal Coil.
Now Fryer has teamed up with Stripmall Architecture’s Rebecca Cosebloom to form DarkDriveClinic, an industrial project that has tendrils in other styles and genres. With their debut album Noise In My Head, does Fryer continue to impress or does he fall flat?
Listening to the album felt like I had been transported back about 10 years to the days of Snake River Conspiracy, Sneaker Pimps, Switchblade Symphony, and other such bands. I say this in the best of ways possible though, as this album took the feeling of those bands, added a sharper edge and upped the production quality by leaps and bounds.
The album sashays between heavy industrial and atmospheric melancholy, with a perfect example being “Angel Of Malcontent”, which just so happens to be my favorite track on the album. Another prime example is “Litmus Heart”, which is an incredibly layered track that makes use of Cosebloom’s range, from gentle as a lamb to ferocious as a lion.
There is an overpowering feel of sex and physical attraction about this album. I can’t explain what made me feel this but I kept envisioning rough yet fully consensual and trusting intimate encounters. Perhaps it was the driving beats or maybe it was the coyly seductive vocals, but my mind was definitely in the gutter listening to this album.
The album, as I mentioned above, is beautifully produced. Listening to this album on my Grado SR-60i headphones was very entertaining. Layer after layer of noise, music, percussion, vocals, and more crashed and undulated, assaulting me at one moment and comforting me the next.
The Final Word: Seductively sexy with a dash of danger, Noise In My Head is a fantastic debut from DarkDriveClinic. It’ll be very interesting to see what comes next.