Volt 9000 – Conopoly
Released: June 4th, 2013
Label: Artoffact Records

volt 9000 conopolyYou probably aren’t yet familiar with the name Volt 9000, but if you follow the industrial rock scene to any degree you surely will in the near future. Both their Canadian origins and the fact they’ve been signed to Artoffact Records (the purveyors of all things retro-industrial) are great bona fides for an emerging industrial band in 2013, but their sound is a different story.

Stumble into any underground coffee shop and ask the first guy in a trench coat reeking of cloves who the most important bands of industrial are; Skinny Puppy is bound to come up at least half the time. So it seems odd to me if you told this same character there was this new band who internalized the electro-experimentation of his favorite band and regurgitated it back up with a freshness only a band forged in the new musical age could, that he would flip his hair over his undershave scoffingly before putting his earbuds back in to finish listening to his playlist of Throbbing Gristle.

And in the case of the witty play-on-words that is Conopoly, Volt 9000’s daring experimentation couldn’t be any sharper. Tracks like “Illuminist” prove that they get “it”, as it features layers of synths twisting and turning into an indistinguishable cacophany of electronic magic.

“Echodrone” is the perfect mid-album song; reigniting the energy of the album, never letting it slump. It’s poignant, catchy, and socially conscious. It’s the perfect compliment of noise, bleeps, synth lines, and brooding music with lyrics that leave you paranoid about the world around you. And while “Echodrone” proves to hold the driving power of the album, the track “House of Cards” is dreamy and invokes feelings of curiosity, longing, and isolation from a mechanical world. All perfect post-modern themes for an industrial band whose lyrics describe the world through a deeply dystopian lens.

The point being; it’s unfortunate but Volt9000 is the kind of music that will make industrial purists cringe. “SACRILEGE!”, they’ll cry while internet message board servers are overwhelmed and crashed by a flood of ripe indignation; hardcore industrial fans have started wars for less. So heavy is Skinny Puppy’s influence that the band has been known to give away their Skinny Puppy memorabilia on their Facebook page, so it make. And while Volt 9000 is unlikely to ever win over the fickle, purist heart, they’ve won over mine. Conopoly puts a refreshing spin on experimentation, and I must give them a professional recommendation.

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