Album: "Dataseed"
Label: WTII Records (2002)
Style: EBM
Songs: 12


Reviewed by: Darklight

Cut.Rate.Box is the American EBM duo of Clint Sand and G. Wygonik. Their debut release, New Religion, sounded like a compilation of songs by different bands as each track was quite different and several of them included well known European guest vocalists. But this Dateseed release is more consistent sticking to a similar style from beginning to end with only Clint Sand and G. Wygonik doing all of the work.

This CD definitely has an American EBM sound to it. This is mainly due to the vocals. Theyíre somewhat high-pitched in their tone and sing in an alternative rock style. And, unfortunately, I just donít personally like this type of singing in electro-industrial/EBM. Also, the lyrics donít particularly appeal to me. Again, they seem like lyrics that would be in alternative rock music.

The music, on the other hand, is quite good. Itís extremely energetic with a lot of interesting sound layering, tempo changes and driving beats. Itís mainly straight forward and meant for clubs, and thatís fine with me. I like good fast paced exciting electronic music which this indeed is. Unfortunately, the vocals just donít go with it in my opinion. Deeper, angrier, raw singing would have definitely been more fitting.

While most of the songs here follow a similar formula of speedy paced rhythms and beats, there are a couple of exceptions to the rule. Both "Enigma" and "Dataseed" are rather dark, cold and laid back. "Enigma" even features angelic female vocals. These two songs are nice for variety, and the overall CD would have benefited from a few more like them.

This album offers nine original tracks and three remixes. Nine original songs is cutting things a little short in my opinion. There should have been at least ten, but I still would have preferred more. And since the remixes arenít very good, I donít even really count them as I personally donít care to listen to them.

The bottom line is that this CD is highly energetic straight forward American EBM with manic electronic programming, driving beats and clear untreated somewhat high-pitched male vocals. It doesnít really work for me as I tend to prefer European electro-industrial/EBM with deep thick accented vocals and dark lyrics. But itís still good and well done enough for those who appreciate more of an American industrial sound.


Album: "New Religion" (2000)
Label: Gashed!
Style: EBM / Synth-pop
Songs: 12


Reviewed by: Darklight

Iím starting to come to the conclusion that Gashed! canít release a bad CD. With stellar albums out by bands such as Aghast View, Assemblage 23, Concrete Nature and NCC, they donít have a bad apple in the bunch, and this Cut.Rate.Box CD just confirms this even more as itís a great album as well.
       This is a modern release that combines the clean and energetic rhythms and beats of EBM with the upbeat catchy melodies and vocals stylings of synth-pop. There are times when angry and aggressive electro-industrial songs make an appearance as well. Basically, you get a little bit of everything on this CD, and it all works.
       The music is well programmed with creative effects layering, driving beats, beautiful synthscapes and clean well sung untreated male vocals. Every song here is polished and well done with a lot of creativity and interesting ideas. The band really likes to try different things here, but still stay in the realm of catchy energetic EBM.
       While this two man band proves here that they can completely manage on their own without any outside help, they did bring aboard several guest vocalists on this album including Stefan Ackermann, Kurt Harland, Adrian Hates, Stefan Netschio and Daniel Myer. Having various different singers on a lot of the songs helps to add variety and diversity to this overall album. While this does kind of make this CD sound like a compilation of different bands as opposed to just one band, it works a lot better than what Iíve heard in the past with similar efforts.

The bottom line is that if you want a high quality electro-industrial/EBM/synth-pop hybrid album, this would be a good one to get.