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Monday, January 7, 2013

Christian Lunch - Unreliable Sources

Name: Christian Lunch
Album(s): Unreliable Sources
Years: 1990
Style: Industrial, Dark-wave, Political
Similar Bands: Devo, Borghesia
"One-Word" Review: Indust-Pop
Based Out Of: Oakland, CA
Label: Alternative Tentacles
Unreliable Sources - Cover, Insert, Lyric Sheet & Record
 Unreliable Sources - Back, Lyric Sheet, Record
Unreliable Sources (1990)
  1. Lynch Me 4:16
  2. The Big Wind 4:47
  3. Neighbourhood Watch 3:53 /
  4. Drug Squad (American Version) 7:41 
Album Rating (1-10): 5.5

Members & Other Bands:
Christian Gregory Ingle (The Witch Trials)
John Beeby - Feedback, Solos, Rhythm Guitar (Live Report, Strange Cargo)
Les Davison - Solos, Rhythm Guitar (positively)
Jonas Bruce - Synth, Bass (Jack Bruce)
Blast! - voices solos, rhythm guitar
J. Pearce Carlin - Floortrader & Cartoon Voices
Luxa/Pan - Remix (Ministry, Lead Into Gold)
Jello Biafra - Production coordination (Dead Kennedys, Witch Trials)
Stella - Editorial Assistance

Unknownness: I’ve never heard of this band. I was convinced this was an ironic name of a hardcore, punk band, especially with the cross in place of the “t.” I discovered after a bit of research that this is just a guy’s stage name. In either case, I’m interested to see what this sounds like, knowing the catalogue of artists on Alternative Tentacles; I’m assuming it is political and angry in nature, especially with 3 of the 4 song titles.

Album Review:
“Lynch Me” begins with a bouncy pop beat with a bit of a dark undertone. Then wailing guitars are overlayed. The vocals begin, and sound isolated, but new wave mechanical and bouncy, something like Devo. The whole sound feels like one big cold soviet machine working together, with the wailing electric guitar bringing chaos to the set. The chorus is repetitive, but catchy and driving.
 “The Big Wind” has big industrial drums underscoring electric guitar screeching and an auctioneer spewing numbers. That fades out, and a bouncy synth rhythm follows up with a monotone cold vocal. The music kicks in, and the song drives forward. The electronic guitar sticks out like a sore thumb, not melding to the industrial techno beat. The auctioneer comes back for the middle instrumental section. And it comes back at the end to finish off the side and give the chaotic and ridiculous view of materialism & the stock market. Sandwiched between is a fun driving section of chorus repetition.
“Neighbourhood Watch” is very quick to change. It starts with a drum beat, adds a stoned-like vocal saying “hey”, then skips transition right into an electric guitar wail. And an industrial drum beat and dark bass are added giving the cold feel again. The message is a political/satirical look at how a neighbor goes crazy with all the normals in his neighborhood, and retaliates with a machine gun. There are lots of voiceovers with some juvenilely violent themes.

“Drug Squad” has electronic industrial traits, like steady solo drum beats, backwards skipping, but with a bit of a vocal rap. The whole song is very stripped down, and sounds like a serious, dark wave version of the Dead Milkmen’s “You’ll Dance To Anything.” It feels very long, meandering and drawn out for no real benefit. It is the same under produced, hook-less raps joined together with yelling of the song title. There are some added synth keyboard sounds added toward the end, (that sound like Mos Eisley Star Wars aliens) but they do not help the already interest-lost song.

Stand Out Track: Lynch Me 

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Mick Sinclair

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