Industrial Soup — A Flagrant Display of Subtlety
(Technomedia Labs TML-001, 1995, CD)
by Peter Thelen, Published 1996-03-01
From San Jose, California, Industrial Soup is a trio of keys+bass, drums, and vocals+sax, sporting a hard driving and quirky keyboard dominated sound that, together with the humorous lyrics (well... they made me laugh a lot!) and manic spoken / shouted vocals makes for a pretty unique musical journey. The music moves along in a herky-jerky rhythmic way with flashes of melody popping out during breaks in the lyrics, or competing with them for center stage; this release would fit in nicely with others on the FOT / Ponk label, totally over the top. Lyrically, I am sometimes reminded of that early 80s EP by Bedful of Metaphysicians, but I suspect that with songtitles like "Tiny Bladder" (its lyrics describe standing in the bathroom line at a football game) or a song about a bureaucratic encounter at the DMV, that there is at least a little Zappa / Beefheart influence hiding somewhere in the shadows. The music is urgent, aggressive and restless, and a good support vehicle for the lyrics on tracks like "Evolve or Die" or "Burrito of Love." In summary, Industrial Soup's opening shot is a lot of fun on a lot of different levels, and one that most should enjoy.
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