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The Agro Music of Sister Machine Gun

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Sister Machine Gun is: Chris Randall and Miguel Turanzas. Their music is notably comparable to Nine Inch Nails without all the teenage angst. Their sonic anger is aimed at more adult sociological problems. Here, politics is as viable a chopping block as the heart.

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SISTER MACHINE GUN: 6.0 (CD on Positron Records)

This CD from 2000 features 55 minutes of intense agro industrial rock.

Electronics control this music, with nasty-ass guitar and manic percussives in constant struggle to usurp dominance. The battle is conducted with style and guttural eloquence. Guitars belt out vicious riffs and tortured chords, grinding and howling with cruel passion. Rhythms explode from every corner, drums pounding and computers chittering and tempos merging and mutating in the audience's ears. Appearances can be detected of keyboards, bass, and even acoustic guitar.

The vocals are authoritative, but communicate a conspiratorial camaraderie. Sly treatments attribute the voices a broadcast quality that enhances the notion of stolen air-time.

Stylistically, this music shares equal parts commercial structure and rebellious aggression. Traditional rock is grafted with industrial sensibilities and dark identity. There's even a touch of rap thrown in with surprising effect. The result is a vigorous sound that is abrasive and alluring at the same time.

The music's topics are split between cold appraisals of modern youth culture and the fusion of machinery with organic components.

By the end of the CD, the "machine" has overwhelmed the tuneage, as electronics win the conflict. The band denounces this artificiality with the repetitious message "I am not a machine."

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SISTER MACHINE GUN: 6.5 The Desert Companion (CD EP on Positron Records)

This CD EP from 2002 offers 33 minutes of industrial rock.

Initially a Middle Eastern influence attempts to color the band's industrial sound, but these sultry airs inevitably fall prey to harsh electronics and angry guitar. By the second track this ethnic edge has been beaten into the sand, replaced by a strong urban style that expresses itself in pure western style.

Agro guitar and loud percussion rule the music. Electronics are allowed to run free, transforming sinuous patterns into oily passages littered with nasty surprises. Intricate beats are generated with ultra-metallic resonance, hypnotic and disquieting.

Vocals enunciate with fuzzy quality, as if spoken by an entity who is half-man, half-machine. Angry lyrics demonstrate more disapproval than hate for the ills of society. Utilizing the Gulf War as a thematic foundation, the topics examined are more psychological than physical. One track even employs rap diction as yet another factor that becomes savaged by the band's industrial style.

With the exception of one remix track (sourced from the band's "6.0" CD), all these songs are new.

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>b>SISTER MACHINE GUN: 6.6 Machine (CD EP on Positron Records)

This CD EP from 2002 offers 30 more minutes of industrial rock with strong electronic overtones.

Harsh guitar jangles in your face while E-perc thrashes at your elbow, dangerously close and conveying an edge of uneasiness with the savage rhythms. Electronics surge like a relentless surf of crackling force, immersing the listener with almost-suffocating stamina. Outbursts of metallic percussion are to be expected and relished. Furious and ominous basslines rumble like coagulant magma.

The vocals possess a subtle, quasi-megaphonic edge that lends distance to the growling utterances. The lyrics are rich with dissent and promote displeasure with the harshness of the real world.

Intentionally exhausting, the music drains you as it pumps you full of agitation.

This time the songs target the morality of the death sentence, examining the various means of execution from technical and emotional angles.

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MICRONAUT: Ganymede (CD on Positron Records)

Micronaut is another sonic identity for Randall and Turanzas. The musical style is dance electronics, but the sensibilities retain a demonstrative agro edge that delivers this tuneage into far more intense territory than other "techno" music.

This CD from 2002 features 50 minutes of space-age electronics in an instrumental vein.

E-perc plays an invaluable role here, filling the music with brutal BPMs and intricate rhythms. Surging through these hyperactive beat fields, an ocean of electronics generate melodic presence with nimble-fingered keyboard riffs and synthesizer effects and gritty wailings that threaten to shake loose the audience's teeth.

The gestalt of nasty intensity and sultry appeal is expertly balanced. Mesmerizing melodies explode with ruthless vehemence, destroying any hope of ignoring the fierce tuneage. Such sheer dedication to brutality is uncommon in electronic genres, and refreshingly exhibited in this music.

While the dance factor is high in this music, there is also a deep urge to explore the solar system motivating this uptempo music. A sense of wonder lurks in the vicious mix, propelling the listener to outer regions where air is a rarity and life has yet to taint the soil.

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Reviews of other Micronaut releases can be found here.

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