CDR, The Pandemic, 2006
There’s a chance that for a lot of people, especially in Europe, quite a few of the apparent influences showcased in this album will go amiss. Which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as Josh Calvi’s solo debut as Terretron easily stands on its own as a quality release with the influences and references being just the icing on the cake.
Occasionally coming close to sounding like Mike Patton, Terretron also sounds like something that could easily have come from the early 90′s America electro-industrial landscape. His music definitely wouldn’t be out of place along bands such as Mentallo & the Fixer, Jihad, Benestrophe, Fektion Fekler and Kevorkian Death Cycle (pretty much the Ras Dva roster). Whether this similitude comes from being directly influenced by said bands or from sharing influences with them (Terretron has been around for quite a few years), a factor instrumental in shaping Terretron’s sound appears to have been the used gear, which seems to include a circuit-bent R-505, dubbed the “Terretron 505″, as well as the vocal processing.
Despite this, Terretron is well more than a throwback to an earlier age of electro-industrial and than a nostalgia trip. His music is as intense as the mentioned projects, but it also seems technically more proeficient and with a marked contemporaneous feel as well, with more complex composition structures and some serious percussion work, which make his music sound rather fresh.
“Wither”, the title and opening track, can be a trip in nostalgia, but somehow has a fresh sound that works in the present and pretty much sets the mood for the rest of the album. “Hunger”, “Oceans” and “Ruin” are also prime examples of this, the latter being very reminiscent of what Jihad could have become if they had developed beyond their only release. “Psychorps” comes across as a particularly interesting and rocking track (the lyrics on this track are a big bonus) and the development of “Petrichor” is also quite effective making for a couple of memorable tracks.
This is a very brave and daring first release for upstart UK label ‘The Pandemic’ as this can either be very successful or not work out at all, as a lot of people might not be aware of the influences Terretron have. Hopefully, it will be a success as overall this is an excellent debut album, with a sound the electro-industrial scene might be in dire need at the moment – back to its roots!
– Kate Turgoose & Miguel de Sousa