‘Adrenochrome’. That liberating chemical that keeps us going regardless of danger. It’s no surprise that XP8 named their latest effort after it, because this album is all about bringing those visceral feelings to the forefront through the power of hard electronics, and bitter-sweet lyrics that make you question every aspect of your life and being. The Italian duo want you to think and switch off at the same time, to both refuse conformity and be swallowed by the darkness of the crumbling world, and none of it matters because of the disorder and surreality that we all love so much.
And it certainly is surreal. Tracks like ‘Information’ take you into that void, the tearing electronics, monotonous disjoint and lyrics like “My mind melts / my body stiffens / my body melts / my mind stiffens” altering your perceptions. The vocals get heavy in this one, the man-to-man calmness of the opening track long gone by this point, just like a drug laden memory. The diversity is promising with ‘Awakenings’, which has a melodic approach. It fades in with a slow build, similar to an awakening full of blurs of intoxication, your mind swimming with vague memories that you can’t believe. ‘Camden Town’ follows in kind with an addictive bass line, and again those lyrics…they conjure the image of a dark city littered with flickering street lights and futility, your heart pulsing at the centre of it all.
The bass is constantly empowering, sucking us in and fusing us with the rest, carrying us through the menagerie, instigating movement. And as a more meaningful grace note, we get to step back and analyse humans nature. “We need our lives inside us”. The bass strikes full force again on ‘Beyond the Looking Glass’, four and a half minutes of structured madness, quiet sinister verses and a furious chorus.
Elsewhere, ‘Getaway’ has all sorts of layers all amalgamating into one. “Together but so alone”. It might not be the most engaging track but it definitely shows the duo’s ability to put everything together, to create a nucleus of power at the centre of the madness, while ‘Inside Their Heads’ is a colourful ending.
This is a must for fans of the industrial genre. It has a unique feel-good vibe, languishing in the decay around us all and relishing that path of destruction. It’s a difficult vibe to describe, but it’s bloody liberating. Truly, an ethereal ride through the abyss of intoxication.