A cursory scan of what's moving in industrial-rock circles demands some simple questions: Where did the rock go? Since when did shoddy, self-help-pamphlet fodder, sung off-key to soft synth, qualify as industrial?
While much of the genre is currently engaged with turning the once-challenging style into melodrama, Chris Randall and Sister Machine Gun quietly stayed the course of crafting songs crossing the borders of rock, synthesized frenzy, and even an occasional excursion into the funky. Considered by some to have been one of the overlooked acts on the WaxTrax! Records lineup, Randall and crew took the DIY approach after leaving WaxTrax and forged their own label, Positron! Records. Their latest offering, Influence, revisits the tactics that put them on the map -- songs that actually rock, but also venture into electronic territory. And the combo emerges for the better, drawing attention from the black-clad crowd as well as the caffeine-infused comic-book-and-video-game contingent.
For its first local gig in five years, expect the band to deliver industrial-strength goods, since Randall is flanked by a band that includes collaborator Miguel Turanzas and My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult's Charles Levi.