:Retrowerks: The Causticles – Eric Gottesman
Review by Stephen Beck Fey
With as overly straight-faced as industrial can be sometimes, mid-western aggrotech groups Caustic and The Gothsicles have always been a breath of fresh air. Their shared philosophy is simple; if you’re going to be shouting over beats for a living anyway, you might as well shout about hand jobs or video games or whatever else you think is funny. And now, after years of playing shows together, remixing each other’s songs, and generally doing the musical equivalent of flirting, they’ve finally done the proverbial fusion dance and merged into one big proverbial Super Saiyan. The resulting album, Eric Gottesman (named after the Psyclon Nine and Everything Goes Cold singer), is thankfully a Gogeta and not a Veku. Dropping the stupid Dragon Ball analogy, this record is exactly as great as you’d hope.
After a brief intro, the party kicks into gear with (naturally enough) “Ruin The Party” and doesn’t really let up. This is simply a masterpiece of straight-ahead oontz; it practically forces you to get up and jump around with a big goofy smile on your face, but the strong melodic synth lines and clever lyrics keep it from ever getting repetitive. If you’ve ever played or run Dungeons & Dragons, “True Tales of Made Up Adventure” is really just the best thing. The samples too, are extremely entertaining. Distressingly often, I find myself tuning out the non-chorus lyrics in most industrial songs, so the lyricism on a lot of these songs is particularly welcome. “We’re [Literally] Here For Your [Figurative] Pussy” may not be Leonard Cohen, but it made me laugh out loud the first time I heard it and it still makes me smile for what must be the fiftieth time now. From the over-zealous parental warnings of “Stranger Danger” to the carousal of film clips that make up “The Matrix is Real,” even the lyrics that aren’t technically lyrics make the songs more enjoyable.
And that’s really what I’m talking about. I could go on for several more paragraphs, but it would all be in service of this one point; Eric Gottesman is an exceedingly fun record. On The Causticles’ official Bandcamp page, they call it “the summer’s most summery industrial album,” and there’s certainly no disputing that. Even on the most serious track, “(I’m Not) Functional,” the sense of buoyancy and party-hardy jump-around-itude (that’s the technical term, you know) still remains. All in all, it’s the best possible mix of the two constituent groups. There’s nothing really new or innovative here, but why should there be? The Causticles are perfect the way they are. If you’re already a fan of Caustic or The Gothsicles, there’s no reason for you to not own Eric Gottesman already. If you haven’t checked them out yet, this is a wonderful place to start.
01. Resultant Forces (An Introduction)
02. Ruin the Party
03. Headbutt to the Guys
05. (I’m Not) Functional
06. The Matrix is Real
07. Snail Hatin’ (feat. Nikki from Prometheus Burning)
08. True Tales of Made Up Adventure
10. We’re [Literally] Here For Your [Figurative] Pussy
11. A Case for Hate Speech (First Amendment Vocal Version)
12. Stranger Danger
13. The Causticles Ain’t Nuthin Ta Fuck Wit
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