1000 Albums Project

ALBUM 378

Everybody Hates You, by Combichrist
Suggested by John Ingham

Consider the jacket potato.

I’d wager that everyone loves a jacket potato, aside from those heading to Marbs in the near future. It’s a doddle to make via a microwave, or crispily indulgent when forged in a hot oven or blazing fire. It’s a simple and elegant cupboard staple that acts like a prime canvas for a host of culinary paints and pastels. And it’s healthy too*! (*diet plan dependant, please do not base nutritional changes on advice from an album review blog).

But when you make a Jacket Spud, and apply your topping, you’re running the dreaded Ratio Gauntlet. For no matter how well you cook the spud or assemble the topping, there’s a danger the volume of one will overwhelm the volume of the other. This is unconscionable, and should not be tolerated in a forward-thinking society.

Sure, you could measure the cooked spud, and calculate the supposed “correct” amount of, say, tuna mayo to get the ratios aligned, but then you’d be some hideous Ounce Goblin, getting your cheap thrills by cataloguing and comparing the sizes of things against other things. A human being will simply look at the spud, then add an amount of topping that “looks right”. If it is right, then joy is unconfined! You have a tasty meal. If it’s not right, you’re either left with a soggy topping overload, or worse, a beige mouthful or two of uninspiring dried carbohydrate.

Combichrist is an American Aggrotech / Industrial Metal outfit, hailing from America. I can hear you now… “what the hell is Aggrotech?” Never fear, I am here to impart my Googled wisdom! Aggrotech is an offshoot of an offshoot of Electro Industrial, strongly influenced by hardcore techno, rife with aggressive beats, prominent synths, and dark lyrics.  Sounds promising, I suppose, although the hardcore techno gives me pause.

I like industrial metal. I’m coming to accept that it’s likely one of my favourite genres of the Hard Sound. A cool fusion between that and Aggrotech should be excellent. Shouldn’t it?

Sadly, poor Combichrist ran the Ratio Gauntlet, and came up wanting.

Putting it simply, they didn’t create something that fused the best of Aggrotech and Industrial Metal together into a glorious whole. They took some techno, and they added Industrial Metal with Photoshop. I may be misrepresenting the Aggrotech sound, as it’s a sound that’s new to me today, but I found not enough sumptuous tasty topping and far too much workaday jacket potato.

Things start well, with the pounding This Sh*t Will Fcuk You Up, utilizing some fine samples in place of vocals, or treating vocals so they blend into the sample work. And other songs like Blut Royale and This Is My Rifle are strong tracks that deserve a nicer home. But I think their repetitiveness, and their at-first exciting use of samples serves to remind me how much I hated the club scene back in the day. My standout track, Lying Sack of Sh*t, is chosen wholly because I know and love the song they sampled for the vocals: it’s Fishbone’s Lyin’ Ass Bitch.

Everybody Hates You gets 5/10, but it is a strong five. The ratio is off, and the techno is potato, but the topping is delicious if you can stomach the rest of the meal.

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