Bionic - Close To Nature
EBM, Electro-Industrial Those of you with knowledge of industrial scene heritage may have fond memories of the Off-Beat Label, whom in their mid-90s prime delivered classic albums from the likes of Project Pitchfork, Haujobb, Front Line Assembly and countless others. In amongst these releases is an less-well remembered album 'Rest In Peace' by a project called Bionic. Don't ask me why, but they've decided that time is right for a comeback and have duly unleashed 'Close To Nature' onto an audience that are as good as unaware of their distant past.

And I'll be fair, first impressions aren't bad. "It Doesn't Matter" is a fine example of the muscular EBMish synthpop dished up by countless European bands, lyrics somewhat goofy but still affecting in their own way. I have to admit to returning to this song several times whilst reviewing this album, which is a polite way of saying that from here on, quality control is variable at best.

I'll round up the good bits first. "Give Me Shelter" is a good, dynamic pop song, a decent balance of punchy beats, synth melodics and sing-along chorus. "Inside" makes a decent stab at doing the whole throbbing arp/filter sweep/morose lyrics thing attempted by those many bands that set out trying to sound like VNV Nation but ended up coming across like an Assemblage 23 album filler - this particular track at least avoids the most obvious clichés and thus succeeds in sounding distinctive. And if you're looking for the tracks worth downloading from your digital seller of choice, you might as well quit reading now.

Of the remainder, "Somewhere" is a tolerable but totally unmemorable body beat pop song. "Anything" and "Cold Eyes" both attempt to pack a mishmash of synthetic concepts around static four-beats, both offering occasional moments of interest but otherwise presenting a largely bland musical landscape. "Strive for Uniting" is a disjointed attempt at a slow, menacing number, too stop-start for me to even hope to even start to describe it, so I'll just stop here. The albums real nadir is "It's No Par", a pathetic attempt at a minimal Nitzer Ebb wannabe.

There a couple of remixes at the end of the album. Accessory's remix of "Inside" is a cluttered, noisy affair, knocking all the life out of the track, a disappointing showing for a band that usually knows how to twist such material into a floorfiller. There's also a passable remix of "It's Doesn't Matter" by Minusheart, toughening up the original in places but essentially leaving the essential elements of the song intact. Which, given what we heard from Accessory one track previously, is probably a good thing.

The end result is a patchy album that really offers a mere trio of good songs, and those three aren't a significant deviation from the countless other tracks in the same style squeezing my playlist to bursting. Much as I love my synthpop and 1990s electro-industrial, particularly when the two concept meet within the confines of the same song, I really don't see the point behind this project's revival. There is so much more exciting material out there to enjoy instead.
3
Brutal Resonance

Bionic - Close To Nature

5.0
"Mediocre"
N/A
Electroracle
Spotify
Released 2010 by Echozone
Those of you with knowledge of industrial scene heritage may have fond memories of the Off-Beat Label, whom in their mid-90s prime delivered classic albums from the likes of Project Pitchfork, Haujobb, Front Line Assembly and countless others. In amongst these releases is an less-well remembered album 'Rest In Peace' by a project called Bionic. Don't ask me why, but they've decided that time is right for a comeback and have duly unleashed 'Close To Nature' onto an audience that are as good as unaware of their distant past.

And I'll be fair, first impressions aren't bad. "It Doesn't Matter" is a fine example of the muscular EBMish synthpop dished up by countless European bands, lyrics somewhat goofy but still affecting in their own way. I have to admit to returning to this song several times whilst reviewing this album, which is a polite way of saying that from here on, quality control is variable at best.

I'll round up the good bits first. "Give Me Shelter" is a good, dynamic pop song, a decent balance of punchy beats, synth melodics and sing-along chorus. "Inside" makes a decent stab at doing the whole throbbing arp/filter sweep/morose lyrics thing attempted by those many bands that set out trying to sound like VNV Nation but ended up coming across like an Assemblage 23 album filler - this particular track at least avoids the most obvious clichés and thus succeeds in sounding distinctive. And if you're looking for the tracks worth downloading from your digital seller of choice, you might as well quit reading now.

Of the remainder, "Somewhere" is a tolerable but totally unmemorable body beat pop song. "Anything" and "Cold Eyes" both attempt to pack a mishmash of synthetic concepts around static four-beats, both offering occasional moments of interest but otherwise presenting a largely bland musical landscape. "Strive for Uniting" is a disjointed attempt at a slow, menacing number, too stop-start for me to even hope to even start to describe it, so I'll just stop here. The albums real nadir is "It's No Par", a pathetic attempt at a minimal Nitzer Ebb wannabe.

There a couple of remixes at the end of the album. Accessory's remix of "Inside" is a cluttered, noisy affair, knocking all the life out of the track, a disappointing showing for a band that usually knows how to twist such material into a floorfiller. There's also a passable remix of "It's Doesn't Matter" by Minusheart, toughening up the original in places but essentially leaving the essential elements of the song intact. Which, given what we heard from Accessory one track previously, is probably a good thing.

The end result is a patchy album that really offers a mere trio of good songs, and those three aren't a significant deviation from the countless other tracks in the same style squeezing my playlist to bursting. Much as I love my synthpop and 1990s electro-industrial, particularly when the two concept meet within the confines of the same song, I really don't see the point behind this project's revival. There is so much more exciting material out there to enjoy instead.
Apr 25 2012

Jonny Hall

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

Share this review

Facebook
Twitter
Google+
12
Shares

Related articles

Aedifice

Interview, Jun 06 2016

Shortly about us

Started in spring 2009, Brutal Resonance quickly grew from a Swedish based netzine into an established International zine of the highest standard.

We cover genres like Synthpop, EBM, Industrial, Dark Ambient, Neofolk, Darkwave, Noise and all their sub- and similar genres.

© Brutal Resonance 2009-2016
Designed by and developed by Head of Mímir 2016