Gearwhore - Drive
When it comes to putting together some serious driving beats Gearwhore do not mess about. With some of the coolest percussion work I've heard this year and enough big guitars to keep me going until the end of the next I reckon this Astralwerks debut will be turning quite a few heads.
Starting out as an engineer at the Chicago Trax Studio, Brian Natonski got to see the likes of Ministry and KMFDM work and play. No doubt making quite an impression he seems to have used his experiences to build on his own preconceptions of what music should be like, rather than simply copying. To that end Drive is deceivingly complex with many of the looped guitar sequences following a seemingly random track, but there's really nothing random or chance about anything on the album.
Take Accelerator for example. Only a few minutes in and you'll have heard something in the order of 20+ variations on a monotone theme pumped out by a tightly distorted guitar, so by the time the beats hit you're well and truly locked in.
Other highlights include some of the grooviest stuff you could ever wish for but with an ever present cold steel edge, just to make sure you don't get the wrong idea.
Rating - 838,194 (out of a possible 1,000,000)