Bomb 20 - Field Manual
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Bomb 20
Field Manual

When I first started reading press on this group (one man), I thought that it would be something that I really liked. On the same label as Atari Teenage Riot, it was said to be an amalgamation of hip-hop, techno, and noise, all cut up and spliced together with movie samples and other wacky stuff.

The one thing I didn't plan on, though, was just quite how much much noise would be involved. On every track (and I'm not kidding here), there is distortion, feedback, buzz, and / or all of the above in large quantities. There aren't any vocals to speak of like ATR, but there are very nicely cut-up and reconstructed sound bites from movies (some quite recognizable) and commercials that are re-arranged in a way to make a point. As if the music didn't already do it enough. This is more anti-government at its boldest and it never lets you forget it. With track titles like "You Killed Me First!," "Made of Shit," and "Ultimate Supremacy," it doesn't take too long to figure out the point. Even the booklet forgoes all art (save the cover image) for sort of a manifesto for action.

As mentioned above, the music on the disc is just as "take-no-prisoners" as the ideas contained within. Whether they're cranked-up hip-hop ("Innocent Bystanders") or wigged-out drum-and-bass ("Lory Vs. Bomb 20") inspired, all the beats on the album are super-harsh and metallic sounding and it makes for quite a challenging listen. The distortion is layered so heavily upon some tracks that sometimes you'll wonder whether there is something wrong with your speakers. Still, though, things are well constructed and the sound-bite fillers provide a much-needed downtime before the brutality starts up again. He even manages to name-drop himself via sample even more than the average rap artist.

If you're into this sort of thing, and have an idea of what you're getting into before buying the album, you'll probably dig it. It's kind of hard to sit down and digest in one session, but even without lyrics, in doses it provides more angst per second than any band that every came out of the upper-Northwest. Not too bad for a 19-year old from Berlin.

rating: 6.510
Aaron Coleman 2003-06-19 00:00:00