He Is Me - Let It Drip
Released off label 2016
Singer/vocalist and all-around dark force Steve Moore is becoming well-known both on Brutal Resonance and in the industrial and metal scenes at large. With his life and career almost cut short due to cancer in 2013, Moore has come back incredibly strong and is out to “tear a hole” in the music scene he loves and blaze a unique trail for himself and anyone he works with. Since his comeback last year with The Unravelling, Moore’s sound has now reincarnated twice in the form of Post Death Soundtrack and his now his new project, He Is Me.
He Is Me is Moore’s newest collaboration, this time with Portland producer Casey Braunger. Braunger goes by the moniker Textile Arcade and has been releasing solo work since 2001. Moore and Braunger have clearly been looking to work together for some months, as Textile Arcade remixed of “Little Alice, a track off of Moore’s Post Death Soundtrack project. The duo have not emerged with “Let It Drip”, the first track of this new collaboration.
The programming on “Let It Drip” is stellar – let that be said at the outset – and hits the listener right away. A combination of darkwave and industrial with a metal (programmed) double-kick drum, Braunger sure knows how to make an entrance for those of us who were not previously aware of his work. Moore’s vocals, meanwhile, are different than in previous projects. His lyrics are just as thought-provoking, political and spiritual as usual, but Moore’s vocal timbre and the way he uses his voice are a bit of a noodle-scratcher.
In the verse of “Let It Drip”, Moore’s voice seems strained. He speaks almost as one would in a normal conversation with no raspy ornamentation or screams on the horizon. It seems that this choice was intentional; the strain and veritable awkwardness of the vox here does more than build tonal tension. It makes the listener genuinely uncomfortable. If there’s one thing Moore knows how to do, it’s make his audience sit up and listen to what he’s saying.
That said, there’s some other tonal oddities which may not have been on purpose or just plain don’t fit. For example, during parts of the chorus which are a bit louder and Moore is returning from a good screaming spell, he almost sounds as if he’s adopted an English accent. There are also times where, to add punch, Moore opts for guttural noises or groans, kind of like he’s being his own hype man. Think the iconic “War” by Edwin Star but the grunts are not on beat. These elements don’t serve much of a purpose, so unless Moore is going for the same strained awkwardness as in the verse, it doesn’t quite work.
Whatever the motivation for Moore’s slightly strange vocals, “Let It Drip” is an impassioned mélange of rock and electronic genres which offers a different take on each of its requisite parts. The lyrics are about transcendence and human oneness, but the music creates a more realistic and dystopian picture of that sociological evolution. The impact of the song is not lost just because of a couple of vocal oddities, and they certainly won’t keep the industrial and metal worlds from looking forward to the next track from He Is Me.
Sep 01 2016
Writer and contributor on Brutal Resonance
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He Is Me "Let It Drip