Review

Review

Chiildren: 'The Other People' – EP Review [NSFW]

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Described by band members Chris Zeischegg and Chad Fjerstad as a reflection on “sex, death, and the unknown,” the music of LA-based duo Chiildren (yes, it's spelled with two i's) is hard to nail down, but they describe it as a fusion of “the automation of modern electronica with post-industrial drone, while taking inspiration from grim black metal, splatter-punk fiction, and minimal film scores.” Frankly, that sentence alone was enough for me to get immediately on the horn with the band's management for more info on these cats... because between that warped concept and their completely batshit insane music video debut (which you can watch at the end of this review if you're brave enough), I was all the way in. I was soon rewarded with a copy of their five-track debut EP The Other People, which turns out to be one of the most memorable electro-metal releases I've heard this year.
 
 
The record opens with “Girl in the Dirt,” the band's first single – which, along with that bizarro video I mentioned, got my undivided attention in the first place. This track sneaks up on you, opening with a long, slow stretch of dramatic piano and synth strikes, then layering in distorted guitar chords which give way to industrial chugs and clanging metallic loops before finally charging headlong into alt-metal madness with screamed vocals. The patterns are simple, but stack up and alternate to create serious horror-movie dynamics. A bouncier electro rhythm kicks off the title cut “Other People,” which then introduces deeper, heavier guitar riffs and snarling black metal vocals, adding cathedral bells, monotonic chants and a shit-ton of reverb for an even more apocalyptic atmosphere. “Milos” is carried by a sparser, glitch-driven rhythm with a pensive piano accompaniment and a distinct Skinny Puppy feel before the guitars slowly burn through. 
 
The synth foundation goes deeper, slower and much darker for the mega-creepy “My Gods,” which takes on a kind of cybernetic doom-metal vibe; all soaring chords, screams and blastbeat outbursts, it's definitely the scariest track on the EP, and my personal favorite, 'cuz I'm just evil like that. You probably can't dance to it, but you'd definitely freak out your friends if you tried (be sure to send us a video of yourself if you do). “Post Misogyny” closes the record on a more upbeat cyber-tribal groove, with less heavy guitar and the only real prominent passages of melodic vocals, which are clean but emotionally strained and urgent... until, of course, they finally give way to manic, desperate screams. 
 
 
At only 20 minutes in length, The Other People still has the power to chill, rattle and strangely excite your senses, while you become more and more convinced you're in the clutches of a pair of madmen bent on hideously mutating your musical cortex. Oh, and if you're familiar with my tastes at all, you'll know that's a glowing recommendation. The EP is out now on Bit Riot Records, and you can pick up a digital copy from the FiXT Music store (the physical CD will arrive early 2013 with some bonus tracks and remixes). But now it's time for that video of “Girl in the Dirt,” which I'm afraid I just can't explain at at all, other than to say it's the most awesomely creepy thing I've seen all month... and I still have no idea what he's doing to that pig's head. You'll just have to sort it out for yourself.
 
 
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