Medication for the Misinformed
Can the music played in goth dance clubs save the world, or will it just be unjustly blamed for yet another spate of teen-age social ills? Mindless Faith hopes it's the former.
Comprising brothers Jason and Chris Sevanick and their guitarist friend R. Furr, the electro-industrial unit Mindless Faith was founded in State College, then based in Pittsburgh for several years, where the group occasionally played gothic-industrial fests at the now-defunct Club Laga. Fast forward past the band's 2004 signing to Metropolis/Dependent for the third album, Momentum, and the Sevanicks are currently split between Brooklyn and Washington, D.C.
They're also back to putting out albums themselves on their reactivated imprint, Alterculture. Along with a two-volume side-project set of downtempo and ambient chill tracks called Grains of Sound, they're out of the gate with Medication for the Misinformed, a collection of powerful tracks representing the technologically advanced apex of the industrial-dance movement.
For spike-haired rivetheads who grew up suckling at the cyber-teats of Skinny Puppy and Front Line Assembly, selections like "Bound" and "Down Here" provide the nourishment that'll give them the energy to pound boots on the linoleum. And who wouldn't want to join in the chant when the chorus of a song is "I'm Pretty Much Fucked"?
Yet not all the beats are so relentless -- other tracks like "Red Lines," "Tell," and the finale "Bullet" (with its Middle Eastern-sounding mandolin and violin melody) are appropriate for earlier in the evening, when the loners wave their arms expressively like snake-charmers. They also put in the occasional political dig. The instrumental "Another Empire Falls" is self-explanatory, while Jason's lyrics on "Independence Day" ("I live in the shadows of kleptocrats / and brothels on Pennsylvania Ave.") at least clearly indicates which side he isn't on.
But much like the rigged two-party system these boys surely decry, Medication doesn't launch any new policy initiatives. One could imagine the music appearing in the soundtrack for the latest TV series about a renegade vampire detective, or in the background of a testosterone-filled, shoot-aliens-up video franchise. Their strong command of their chosen genre is admirable, yet ultimately, it merely seeks to preserve the status quo on the dancefloor rather than move things forward.