By: Chris Robertson
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Released on September 23, 2014 via Metropolis Records
Hearing the word “supergroup” usually sends a shiver down my spine. All these years later it still conjures up The Power Station and their flaccid version of T Rex’s Get It On. Prude’s members (from Chemlab, Caustic, Plastic Heroes and Cyanotic) aren’t as famous as Palmer et al and there’s certainly nothing limp about The Dark Age of Consent with its huge riffs and strutting choruses jutting out provocatively from the understated industrial throb and gentle electronica.
The album begins on a strange note with PLUSism which veers from relentless swathes of guitar to fragile swirls of synths with Jared Louche chanting obscene robotic poetry throughout. It’s a difficult start – the lick of salt in the tequila slammer – an incoherent mish mash of all the styles to come.
What follows though is an album brimming with ideas, confidence and energy. There are great bursts of pop rock in great eraser and sniper(at the gates of dawn), searing Stooges-style riffs in scatterbrain and a few nods to mid 80s Bauhaus on cigarette burn heat and airlock. It’s all great fun and you get the feeling that Prude placed the emphasis on songwriting first and noise later – a rare thing in the industrial/electro punk genre.
It’s all knitted together superbly by knife on mars, one of two standout tracks. Even with its accoustic feel it’s the most industrial sounding song on the album. It’s slow and swampy with Louche’s drawling, laconic vocal laced with debauchery.
The other standout song is kings of the republic of nowhere – the last song on the album. Like PLUSism it’s a mish mash of all the styles that have preceded it but, rather than being disjointed, it’s a celebratory summation, a joyous soaring singalong and a fitting climax.
The press blurb would have you believe that The Dark Age of Consent is the sound of Nine Inch Nails wearing sequins and platform shoes but that’s only part of the story. It’s also the sound of Kasabian if they’d been wired up the wrong way.
Prude have made a damn fine noisy album full of damn fine noisy songs. Get it on.