Mindless Faith - Just Defy
EBM, Electro This is the fifth album by the Baltimore-based project Mindless Faith. They style combines various hard electronic influences with jagged guitar riffs, a combination that presents them with a wide potential audience in the industrial scene, but also plenty of competition. After all, the concept of reinforcing synthetic rhythms with some heavily-processed six-string action is a concept that dates back to the birth of industrial music's Golden Age in the mid-to-late-80s. Anyone practising the style now needs to have some original ideas to get any real attention. Fortunately, Mindless Faith have exactly that.

Their stylistic trump card is best exemplified on the tracks "Next To Last", "Over The Fence" and "You Don't Know", where they build on the concept first crystallised on their 2004 'Momentum' album, a combination of uptempo kick drums, heavy psytrance influences, driven forward by ceaseless guitar riffs. The vocals mostly consist of standard industrial-scene gravel (there's some occasional fem-vox backing), but there's some neat turns of phrase in their dismissive social commentary. Equal parts Chemlab and Infected Mushroom, these tracks are a must for anyone who enjoys a hard, angry stomp on the world's darker dancefloors.

Another highlight is the "Let Us Prey" remix of Vultures, tightening up the rather cluttered original song and giving it the full-on psy-industrial treatment described above. "Corporati$m" takes the intensity level yet further, resembling a full-on industrial metaller at times, though the calmer middle section provides a welcome relief from the ceaseless axegrinding and vitriolic outbursts against rich people that dominate the majority of the song.

I do feel that this project does seem to lose something whenever they let the tempos drop. "No Saints Allowed" could be have a been a great slow, reflective track, but despite the presence of multiple guitar lines (not all of them overdriven to speaker-splitting intensity this time), the song is confused structurally, unable to transition cleanly between it's loud and quiet parts and often sounding overly swamped whenever the power chords kick in. "Undone" is a slight improvement, but it still seems to drag when compared to the albums undisputed floor fillers.

The remainder of the album sits between these extremes. "The Thirst" is a reasonable attempt at a straight-forward industrial rocker, describing the perils of drug abuse, but the throbbing basslines of "Love Is A Dirty Word" and "Mutually Assured Destruction" sound somewhat workmanlike in comparison with the stronger material on offer here. There is also an instrumental interlude "Indiscriminate Force", but it achieves little in it's two-minute duration and is hence the least necessary track on the whole album.

This album still has a decent selection of strong tracks, but having listened back to my Mindless Faith favourites from previously releases, I can't help but notice that all of my playlist selections ('Singular', 'Momentum', 'I'm Pretty Much Fucked') follow similar musical lines to my stand-out tracks here. And speaking as someone who usually enjoys the downtempo tracks on albums such as this, it possibly indicates a weakness in this project's overall stylistic spread. But what they do well, they do very well, and largely without precedent.
3
Brutal Resonance

Mindless Faith - Just Defy

6.5
"Alright"
N/A
Electroracle
Spotify
Released 2012 by Alterculture Records
This is the fifth album by the Baltimore-based project Mindless Faith. They style combines various hard electronic influences with jagged guitar riffs, a combination that presents them with a wide potential audience in the industrial scene, but also plenty of competition. After all, the concept of reinforcing synthetic rhythms with some heavily-processed six-string action is a concept that dates back to the birth of industrial music's Golden Age in the mid-to-late-80s. Anyone practising the style now needs to have some original ideas to get any real attention. Fortunately, Mindless Faith have exactly that.

Their stylistic trump card is best exemplified on the tracks "Next To Last", "Over The Fence" and "You Don't Know", where they build on the concept first crystallised on their 2004 'Momentum' album, a combination of uptempo kick drums, heavy psytrance influences, driven forward by ceaseless guitar riffs. The vocals mostly consist of standard industrial-scene gravel (there's some occasional fem-vox backing), but there's some neat turns of phrase in their dismissive social commentary. Equal parts Chemlab and Infected Mushroom, these tracks are a must for anyone who enjoys a hard, angry stomp on the world's darker dancefloors.

Another highlight is the "Let Us Prey" remix of Vultures, tightening up the rather cluttered original song and giving it the full-on psy-industrial treatment described above. "Corporati$m" takes the intensity level yet further, resembling a full-on industrial metaller at times, though the calmer middle section provides a welcome relief from the ceaseless axegrinding and vitriolic outbursts against rich people that dominate the majority of the song.

I do feel that this project does seem to lose something whenever they let the tempos drop. "No Saints Allowed" could be have a been a great slow, reflective track, but despite the presence of multiple guitar lines (not all of them overdriven to speaker-splitting intensity this time), the song is confused structurally, unable to transition cleanly between it's loud and quiet parts and often sounding overly swamped whenever the power chords kick in. "Undone" is a slight improvement, but it still seems to drag when compared to the albums undisputed floor fillers.

The remainder of the album sits between these extremes. "The Thirst" is a reasonable attempt at a straight-forward industrial rocker, describing the perils of drug abuse, but the throbbing basslines of "Love Is A Dirty Word" and "Mutually Assured Destruction" sound somewhat workmanlike in comparison with the stronger material on offer here. There is also an instrumental interlude "Indiscriminate Force", but it achieves little in it's two-minute duration and is hence the least necessary track on the whole album.

This album still has a decent selection of strong tracks, but having listened back to my Mindless Faith favourites from previously releases, I can't help but notice that all of my playlist selections ('Singular', 'Momentum', 'I'm Pretty Much Fucked') follow similar musical lines to my stand-out tracks here. And speaking as someone who usually enjoys the downtempo tracks on albums such as this, it possibly indicates a weakness in this project's overall stylistic spread. But what they do well, they do very well, and largely without precedent.
Mar 27 2012

Jonny Hall

info@brutalresonance.com
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance

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