Review from ACCLAIMED PUNK Webzine:
Anyone who has ever heard the name Poughkeepsie, New York probably didn't forget it too soon. More known to the music world for a venue called The Chance and a band called Matchbook Romance, Poughkeepsie's latest talent comes in the form of Genghis Tron. The trio is said to have been part of the local scene for a while now in various bands, but after signing to the Maryland-based label Crucial Blast, the Genghis Tron project seems to be the main focus.
The group's first release comes in the form of this five-song EP titled Cloak Of Love. Their sound is an ambitious one that combines two genres at different ends of the earth: grindcore and electronic-pop. Their mix of the two is probably most stressed during the opening track, "Rock Candy". It begins with an all-out blast of choatic, distorted riffage and screams before they abruptly stop to add in a pulsating drum machine beat. The two go back and forth throughout most of the track with plenty of stop-start patterns that are hard to follow. The next track, "Arms", finds more of the same, but also allows more actual instrumentation to be heard. The track features very neat sounding guitar chords in a few moments as well as one of the catchier machine beats. The band's slightly darker electronic side shows up in parts of "Ride The Steambolt" while the a much heavier side is heard in "Laser Bitch", thanks to a hectic breakdown complete with pounding drum beats and metallic guitar chops. The last track, "Sing Disorder", also happens to be the longest. Most grind bands write twenty to sixty second songs, but the addition of programming helps stretch out Genghis Tron's songs a bit more.
It's very hard to get a feel for what the band's lyrical side is like as the vocals are nearly impossible to decipher. The fact that no lyrics appear in the album booklet also hinders that possibility. So, what you are left with is a very ambitious EP. I can honestly say I've never heard a band combine real grindcore with synth and programmed beats. The fact that Genghis Tron intertwines the two is even more impressive. While the grind parts are basically what grind is (complete chaos), they do make the music that much more interesting as normal electronica can get a bit boring at times. Altogether, much props to Genghis Tron for making an EP that contrasts disorder with order in good fashion.
Review from FAKETRAIN Webzine:
If you think you have heard it all, Cloak of Love will make you feel otherwise,Cloak of Love may be one of the most original sounding records I have heard in awhile.
Genghis Tron has cleverly crafted a mind-boggling display of electro-pop with grindcore. More grind than synth, or more synth than grind? Well, I think the balance between the two extremes is 50/50. Just enough electronic-pop before the listener becomes drowsy, and just the right amount of grindcore before eardrums throw up a white flag.
Cloak of Love is simply imaginative. Bizarre, yes, yet very listenable.
Honestly, I have never been one to indulge in the faint sounds of electro-plop...I mean electro-pop, but Genghis Tron's ingenuity has definitely sparked my interest (with a little help from heart-jolting thudding blast beats). But aside from the two obvious styles that continuously alternate throughout Cloak of Love, there are numerous musical approaches that can briefly be felt, especially some indie and industrial rock.
Poughkeepsie's Genghis Tron have spliced and fragmented musical structures that are as unique as anything you have heard, trust me. The technical proficiency is flawless, the ear-shattering blast beats pound and grind, and electronic sounds pulsate and thump and beep and prod unsuspecting minds and ears. With only five tracks, Genghis Tron's Cloak of Love leaves listeners wanting more, but endless rotations will suffice until a full-length. The second track, "Arms," simultaneously makes you rock back and forth, swaying left to right to electronic danceable beats, and a second later forcing your head to thrash and whip along to vigorously striking blast beats until blurred vision and a sore noggin becomes a concern.
This is innovation.
Review from EXCLAIM! Magazine:
Blazing out of Poughkeepsie, New York comes the mecho-grind trio Genghis Tron, perfectly named for their schizophrenic attitude towards metal: one-half devastating world dictators, the other half Disney-esque computer-pop nerds. Their five-song debut EP, Cloak Of Love, finds the band waging war with conflicting influences that, in the end, commingle comfortably. Opener "Rock Candy" churns together bits of prog, hip-hop, techno, dance, and abrasive machine thrash ... clumsily at first, but then the tune gets a guitar wash à la the Police’s Andy Summers to close out the song in a dream state. "Arms" even has guitar tones of King Crimson’s Robert Fripp amid the Dillinger Escape Plan’s grind mania and groovy keyboards. "Ride The Steamboat" pits Agoraphobic Nosebleed against Fantômas, while "Laser Bitch" starts out catchy with an electro-pop intro akin to the Planet The, but then the band flips on the grinders for a final campaign into friendly Killwhitneydead territory. And "Sing Disorder" wouldn’t be out of place in Ultraviolence’s iPod. Adored or reviled, Genghis Tron are now nearing the head of the line in pushing the extreme music envelope.
Review from SCENEITALL:
There is so much replication in music today that it's very rare when a band comes along with a sound described as innovative or truly unique. When I first heard Lye By Mistake's fusion of hardcore with blues and jazz I was very impressed at their ingenuity, and while it was extremely unusual I had wished more bands would try something completely different and new. Not to long ago I heard something that was not only unique in it's diversity, but absolutely brilliant in it's performance. What I heard was a band out of Poughkeepsie, New York by the name of Genghis Tron who are leading the way for bringing together a new style of extreme music no one has ever heard. Their debut EP Cloak Of Love comes off of Crucial Blast Records in February and is going to do a lot more than turn heads.
I remember seeing the promo for this band claiming it was a mixture between Napalm Death and Depeche Mode, and with a statement like that who wouldn't be interested. The idea behind the thought of a sound that could recreate the destructive power of grind while at the same time convey the beauty of a synthetic pop band is ingenious and peerless in the least. This three-piece outfit is manned by some extremely professional musicians who know their way around the technical aspects of music as well as the classic stringed instruments. The drum and beat programming in each track is flawless and dark to the core. You'll have multiple synth beats going on at once alongside a melodic guitar riff creating an almost blissful state, then you'll be hit by a speeding train of utter chaos and blood-curdling screaming.
Every time you listen to this album will be like the first. The structure of the songs are so brilliant that it will be a surprise to you when every transition hits. As far as transitions go, I'd say not many bands could even begin to out-perform these guys as they traverse the musical spectrum so far and in a fraction of a second it's hardly believable. Mookie Singerman is an absolute madman on this EP as he lays out some of the most brutal/ass beating vocals I've heard in a long time. Besides singing at the caliber level right below banshee, Mookie has braved the use of the theremin, a rarely used and extremely precise instrument. Genghis Tron's use of keys is beautiful and such a necessity to this artistic amalgamation of music, every other band who leverages it should take some pointers. The list of words to describe the sound and feeling you get from this record include but aren't limited to: funky, catchy, melodic, serene, intense, aggressive, and ambient. For a five-tracked EP that only clocks in at a tad over twelve minutes, this cd packs more quality entertainment than five thousands beads at Mardi Gras.
After repeating the entire record over and over again I'm still left in complete awe at how totally perfect this cd is. I wish I could have been there to see the look on Crucial Blast's faces when they first heard the Genghis Tron demo material. I can only imagine it warranted a bit of jumping and skipping around in excitement. Cloak Of Love is far beyond what I'd even consider music, it's like an unsolvable mathematical formula plotted out by means of three men's unmatched creativy. If there is one band to keep your eye on in 2005 it's Genghis Tron, because if the hardcore community has any sense whatsoever they're going to be bigger than I can imagine. I just got off the phone with Ms. Cleo and her and I both agree that it's going to take a miracle for anything to come even close to touching Cloak Of Love in 2005, in fact I'd be hard pressed to feel the same way I have about this release for anything else all year.
Review from EXODUSTER:
Before hearing one lick from this Poughkeepsie, NY based three-piece, it is impossibly not to love the fact that their name is Genghis Tron and that the CD has a crazy spectrum of colors that could combine to be Banana Republic’s new spring line. Their moniker is about as perfect as you could conjure up, as the boys merge both balls-out, obnoxious speed, power-chord metal with electronic pop -both together and apart - for an awe-inspiring product. The five-song EP starts on "Rock Candy" with space leading to insane A.C.-style metal which eventually leads to an electronic breakdown and a series of non-connected electronic and metal parts. One of the most brilliant parts of "Rock Candy" is a voice sample of some guy saying "wow, this music sounds really good" before heading back into brutality. "Arms" follows as the first track where Genghis Tron immediately mix together metal and electronics into a seamless package. "Ride the Steambolt" features a Theremin and metal solos plus Ministry-style industrial riffs. As probably the ‘danciest’ song "Laser Bitch" begins like a lost New Order song before GT decided to pummel your brain with mic-can’t-entirely-record heavy distorted machine gun guitars. "Sing Disorder" closes the record with a large reliance on industrial riffs and only minimal underlying electronics. Cloak of Love may very well be the best thing I hear for the rest of the year. All hail the onslaught of dance-metal!
Review from Jeb Turner at IN MUSIC WE TRUST:
Almost every CD that comes in for review has a press sheet that draws comparisons between the band at hand and other, usually better known, bands in an attempt to put the music in context. Also, it should be noted, in an attempt to influence the reviewer by
planting favorable comparisons in their mind. So image my consternation when I get GENGHIS TRON the bands used to draw comparison include the likes of BRUTAL TRUTH, NAKED CITY, DEPECHE MODE, and ERASURE. Depeche Mode and Brutal Truth? What the hell is that?
So I slide the disc into my computer and low and behold GENGHIS TRON sounds like Brutal Truth doing Depeche Mode tributes. This is absolutely unlike anything I have heard before. The collision of the extreme and the sublime is completely unique. The best way I can think to describe it is to imagine digi-grind marauders DATACLAST having an episode of
multiple personality disorder. Or better yet, just look at the name of the band. think "Ghenghis" for the murderous speedcore bent on invasion and destruction and think "Tron" for the computerized esoterica and electronica.
Review from Brian Turner at WFMU:
I tend to view most press notes as purple prose, but then this came in from the usually-excellent Crucial Blast label namedropping Brutal Truth and Erasure on the sleeve. I knew this was gonna be good. Plus it was engineered by Colin Marston, whom I
knew from the equally schizoid metal-prog-whatziz outfit Infidel?/Castro!
And sure enough, track one came ripping in with total Zorn/Naked City over-the-top, million-notes-a-minute fury only to cut away midsong to this bopping electroid melody line sounding suspiciously like Depeche Mode's "I Just Can't Get Enough". Like the grindcore-via-Blue Note Candiria, these guys (a trio from Poughkeepsie) love the segue from extreme to extreme, though the schizophrenia does not serve to show flashy chops and ability to swing from genre to genre for its own sake. Rather, the band preserves a
sinister mood, a strong ability to string catchy musical phrases over varied terrain and total mayhem at its sonic disposal. There's a song called "Laser Bitch" as well (full of Peter Hook basslines and synthed out vox that dive right into shredding insanity)!
Review from JERSEY BEAT Magazine:
Firstly, the band had me with their name. Secondly, and yes, more importantly, what is included on this brief five-song ep needs to be heard for yourself, because it is nearly unbelievable to simply read about in print. These guys take the idea of crossing over genres to a level never before heard. With elements of metal, thrash, hi-hop and 80’s techno dance, Genghis Tron are a soaring mélange if violence and beauty, as heard on "Arms", a track that spins wildly out of control before returning to a soothing backbeat accented by a nearly new-age soundscape. The all too brief "Ride the Steambolt" assaults the listener with ferocity reminiscent of Napalm Death’s Scum or the finest work by the Locust or Lightning Bolt. However, following this barrage of noise comes "Laser Bitch", and along with its great title comes a dance track that would make fans of Cameo drool before, again, launching itself headlong into a pool of chaotic fury. I cannot believe that this stuff came from the minds of three quite well adjusted looking lads from Poughkeepsie. Alternating between intensely heavy and flat out danceable, Genghis Tron is a band you ant to introduce your friends to right away; claim this as your discovery because it does not much more interesting than Cloak of Love.
Review from DEADTIDE Webzine:
These guys are onto something. Grind and trip-hop as genres aren't my favorite styles, but if you combine their more interesting aspects you'd have Genghis Tron. After looking at the pics, it's a shame that indie rockers (you know the type) have stumbled onto such an addictive recipe, but I can't see a longhair being this adventurous. Only on few occasions does the presentation feel gimmicky, such as when the band teases with a grind part/trip hop part/grind part arrangement ("Rock Candy"), but when they mesh the parts, such as the guitar tapping/synth noodling descnedo of "Arms" you fully realize the potential of these styles when forced to coexist. The mechanical feel of the drum machine clashes well against the organic synths and really forces you to believe that you're hearing something new, and with how oversaturated music as a whole can be, this is a very scary idea. But the band flexes its muscles so confidently through it that the result feels completely effortless. Despite the modern leaning the band isn't afraid to show its roots in older metal, as shown in the straight up Ministry riff that carries "Ride the Steambolt." This band and the label on the whole are definitely ones to watch, and if Genghis Tron can perfect their already ambitious formula through a full length follwing this teaser EP, we've on the verge of the first truly groundbreaking group in metal in a long time.
from Andy Smyth at Zero Magazine / KSJS:
Sure we have heard bands combine elements of electronic music and metal, but not to their most extreme forms. Genghis Tron breaks down both techno and grindcore and sharply combines them to their concentrated elements. I am talking dance floor electronic back to back with knife stabbing grindcore. It is a feat to be heard. Genghis Tron’s Cloak of Love does so much in such a little span of time. The CD is but a mere five songs and only two of them reach the three minute mark.
Let me give credit to Crucial Blast for quoting these combinations: "Like Painkiller and Naked City hijacking Erasure’s synth pop, or Brutal Truth and Afrikka Bambaata in a club brawl with Depeche mode." What does that mean, exactly? An audio assault the likes of which many have never heard. This is a great way to jump start my 2005 and yours for that matter. Crucial Blast is an awesome label with bands of talent, but to the untrained ear it may seem like white noise. Genghis Tron is a band that exists to soothe your soul while managing to break the sound barrier all at once. If you dare to handle this intensity, and it doesn’t last long, unfortunately, look up Crucial Blast and order this fine release. Let’s turn everyone on to these guys so we can see them tour California.
from ROYAL CARNAGE:
This has to be one of the oddest, yet boldly intriguing releases I have stumbled across this year. I’m not quite sure how to review this or approach it from a metal scribe’s point of view, but let me just say if you like MR. BUNGLE, AGORAPHOBIC NOSEBLEED, grind, jazz, techno, ambient, house, keyboard pop, etc., etc., ad nauseum, then you should give Cloak Of Love a listen. This brilliant 13 minute, 5 song EP is just what the doctor ordered to completely annoy that neighbor that won’t stop banging the street corner whore next door; the headboard slamming against the wall, complete with the bitch wailing like a stuck pig. Or perhaps your neighbor likes to mow the yard and weed eat at 7:15 in the morning? Then, I say you wake up at 4:30 in the morning or just stay up that late, and put your speakers out the window and turn it up as loud as it will go. Mom and Dad won’t leave you alone, nagging wife driving you crazy? Then put on headphones and completely mindfuck yourself, you’ll be healthier for it at cd’s end.
For 13 minutes, your community, friends and family won’t know what hit them.
from VENTRILOCUTION WEBZINE:
In the quest for originality - the nowhere to be found Holy Grail of today's music - some bands tend to mingle and mutate contrasting and asymmetrical music genres, seeking unexpected and exciting new forms of expression and delivery. Most of the time, the resulting merge suffers from a severe lack of identity, which, of course, has its roots precisely in the absence of a distinguishable artistic personality. When you take it to the extreme side of things, the challenge to create something attractive and that actually stands the test of time is even bigger, since combining heavy rock mannerisms and electro synth stuff requires an out-of-the-ordinary musical perception of how to make it wacky but discernible at the same time. Out of all the messy bands that have actually tried to achieve this, only a few really deserve a respectable attention - surely for the reason that the musical whole was autonomously appealing.
Genghis Tron, a North-American trio, come forth with "Cloak of Love" their 5-song presentation EP, and are here to blast through the speakers of everyone fond of this kind of musical endeavors. This is not actually bad, for newcomers. In fact, it’s quite good from that point of view. "Cloak of Love" spans everything from grindcore, crust, polyrhythmic tech stuff a la Meshuggah and death metal, all soaked and intertwined in trip-hop, electro-pop and even some hints of hip-hop, with passages ranging from the typical grindcoriesque brutality and fast pacing to a so damn well thought-out nightclub vibe. Whilst this is actually normal these days, and it's not as shocking as it used to be (well, for some narrow-minded people it still is), Genghis Tron have a particularly twisted vision, since they are as good at metal as they are in creating all the electro soundscapes that infect this record.
Still in their initial career steps, I believe this trio have all the potential to develop their sound to a larger degree of proficiency, but as far as this "all-mangled" styling is concerned, as soon as their creativity is gone, well, ahem, everything is gone.
So, Carnival in Coal, you better get your ass working as hell. You wouldn't want to be surpassed by a young band only in their first EP, would you?