Nowadays, internet musicians do everything they can for attention, with satanic or extraterrestrial imagery, or non-sequitur titles in all caps. So when I saw these elements surrounding INDUSTRIAL PRIEST OVERCOATS, I felt jaded. Until I noticed the “release date” of their latest album, Gone.Nativity — the year 2000. Another one of their albums was ‘released’ in 1986, and another still on July 4, 2020. It seems that by exploiting Bandcamp’s release date function, IPO have discovered the latest method in click-baiting those irony-hungry teens who lurk in the murky waters of the internet, and I have inevitably fallen prey.
The first track, “WHAT EVER HAPPENED TO THE COVENANT HOUSE KIDZ??,” is captivating. The unrelenting guitar and heavy drums are a killer combo. The tempo slowing, and the introduction of the wavy synth, is seamless. And the vocals, which sound like the screechings of the mighty Furies themselves, is invigorating, albeit completely indecipherable.
Personally, I find this indecipherability alluring. Common among garage punk bands such as Teen Suicide and FIDLAR, it reminds me of a voice in the distance, demanding my full attention as I hope to understand it. As a by-product, I am attentive to the entirety of the music. Furthermore, it implies a prestigious club, of those who know exactly what the lyrics say, either through having listened to them hundreds of times, slowing them down and changing the pitch, or through the honour of having the lyrics explained by the band members themselves.
Though the rest of the album holds the elements which make the first track so outstanding — raw vitality and fearless experimentation with vocal approaches and tempos — it lacks a sense of cohesion and method between these elements. To me, these tracks feel like a series of chaotically heterogenous iterations of the first track. However, despite this top-heaviness, the pure energy that persists all the way through would make excellent sloshed-moshing material, and I mean that in the best way possible.