Well-oiled machine

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There’s no way to get around it: The Damage Manual is an industrial supergroup. Just listen to 1 once, and you can’t help but hear that these guys are somebody. This band is brand-spanking-new, formed this year and composed of a slew of heavy-handed hitters, all sprouting out of influential bands of the ‘80s and ‘90s: Chris Connelly (Ministry, The Revolting Cocks) on vocals, Jah Wobble (Public Image Ltd.) on bass, Geordie Walker (Killing Joke) on guitar, Martin Atkins (PIL, Ministry, Killing Joke, Nine Inch Nails) on drums and loops. But 1 isn’t just a remix of previous "I’m angry and you’re gonna hear about it" musical aesthetics. It’s a progressive, revolutionary, stomping-slapping-clapping-marching machine, propelled by Wobble’s infamous spellbinding dub bass and Atkins’ techno-aggressive-oppressive percussion. Those two create a chilling, power-driven rhythm foundation, warmed up by Walker’s manmade guitar patterns, that keep us connected to blood and bone. Vocal veteran Connelly mostly executes his doom and gloom lyrics in a classic punk monotone oratory, until "Leave the Ground." There, he breaks into a Creamlike melodic warble, harmonizing with himself over a supremely distorted bass line and a guitar riff that seems to imitate an angry cowboy dancing. Produced by Atkins and released on his label, Invisible Records, this EP is proof that industrial inbreeding, along with a little hip-hop scratching and masterful loop layering, makes a strong mechanical animal. With 1, the Damage Manual has decided to keep the industrial heartbeat alive and evolving with a handful of exquisitely forged mechanisms that allow years of experience to shine through.

I want more.

The Damage Manual delivers at St. Andrew’s, 431 E. Congress, Detroit, this Saturday, June 24, with special guest Meg Lee Chin. Doors at 9 p.m. Call 313-961-MELT.

Anita Schmaltz writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to letters@metrotimes.com.

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