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Pull the Plug Out Special: Clear Static- Rain Design- Megaherz

Usually Eric will tell you about standout electronic infused music but for this special he looks at three releases that come out as middle of the road. 

Clear Static - Clear Static

It's catchy, it's electronic, it sounds like the '80s; it must be Clear Static! This disc is filled to the brim with synth pop beats and finger-pecking keyboard elements, and it really would have been right at home on any '80s radio station back in the day. In fact, it's difficult to tell the difference between this and the real thing. The problem is everybody and their ass have already done this and a little less corny at that, so it's really just redundant background noise. But, it's at least pleasant background noise. This sounds like Thomas Dolby and Information Society interbreeding. Which, come to think of it, isn't really that bad. Is it? - Preview and purchase online

Rain Design - Massacre in an Affluent Suburb!

The problem with Rain Design is that frontman Adam Kozak (in fact, Rain Design is Adam Kozak) has so many ideas floating around and tries so hard to make everything stand out, that nothing does. I love the many, many sounds Kozak has bouncing around this hour long experimental trip through electronic/industrial hell, but none of them make any kind of impression. Kozak's voice isn't especially interesting, and in fact sounds a lot like a bland version of Trent Reznor (Nine Inch Nails) and Christopher Hall (Stabbing Westward). I can't say, however, that I'm not entertained here. Every track is a virtual grab bag of sounds, and I like that even multiple times through I have no idea what's coming next. I'd like to see Kozak focus and chisel his sound down to a more manageable offering, and stick to his guns. - Preview and purchase online

Megaherz: 5

Megaherz is yet another German industrial/metal/dark rock band that doesn't stray too far from the same formula as the rest of them: repetitive instrumentation (heavy guitars and drum beats), melodic choruses, and a dark and moody atmosphere. And of course, you have to have the cool-sounding German lyrics so anybody that doesn't speak the language has no idea what the hell you're talking about, including all German song titles. 

Well, it's a great effort for the most part, but certainly nothing that hasn't been heard before and better. Rammstein, Laibach and KMFDM come to mind. In fact a lot of the band's sound seems to be heavily influenced by said bands. However, Megaherz has more of a nu-metal sound to them, which for the most part is a bummer. I do appreciate the great production values and other voice bytes and manipulations going on throughout. It's a great filler album when you're bored with the rest of your collection of German metal bands, but Megaherz doesn't leave a deep enough cut for me to pay any attention to. - Preview and purchase online

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