Nacho Artax- voice, lyrics, synthesizers, electronics
Javi Andreu- electric guitars and basses, keyboards, analogs
1. The Speed of Dark
2. Dangerous Games
3. Rapture (They Won’t Care)
4. Suzanne and the Sea of Souls
5. Evil Machine
7. Hunting 2015
8. After the Rain
9. Mil Pedazos
An underground project fuelled by a faithful underground following, second album, “The Border Crossing” from Spanish band Pronoise is the result of an 18 year gap and the power of just 130 Crowdfunders. This duo’s previous effort, a basic 4 track recording released in a non-existent scene, was a primitive effort but an organic one at that, combining humane grit with the sterile harshness of early electronic elements. However, times change, and nearly two decades on, this sophomore feels very different to its 90s predecessor in both bad ways and good.
The theme of trains is one carried by both the album artwork and the spoken word that begins this album’s journey, which proves to be a maelstrom of synths, with clanging percussion and at times, near ethereal keyboard touches. This duo claims to be two halves of one, part post-punk and part EBM, but rivetheads have much more to get excited over here than those who are still listening to The Fall do, as darker, delicate moments are interrupted by harsh palpitations of bass and a strong industrial aesthetic.
At times, this record feels barren and desolate, reflecting emotions with a dusty, black mirror. The choruses fall short of memorable, as Nacho Artax’s vocals are too weak to carry strong, convincing lyrical sensibilities. Instead of song-writing, it is the rhythms that prove strongest here, enough to tempt even the most frigid of listeners to get dancing, all though at times the amateurish VST sounds suggest that maybe these Spaniard’s should have retained some of their late-90s limitations, thus keeping hold of the charisma that comes with music made through a struggle.
Although this band’s limitations are clear; they are not great hook writers or song crafters; so are their strengths. If you want an album to get your foot tapping and your brain reflecting at all the right moments, this commendable achievement is for you.