This album, though, turns me right back into a fanboy.
You hear it right away, in the first blips and drones of “Losing Time”, that this album is something special. The gritty, drawling bass of “Above Ground” layered with ghostly synths is reminiscent of both Autechre’s Incunabula, and SLIGHTER’s own collaboration with Gullie Banxx, “Hell’s Gates” from the film Blood Out. “Caught Up” — easily my favorite track on the album — is a beautiful, half-time shuffle that is equally distinctive from the amazing contribution of vocalist Nica Brooks as it is from the careful instrumentation that pulls in Colin’s ventures into soundtrack work. In fact, much like Danny Elfman’s soundtrack work profoundly influenced the sound of Oingo Boingo — particularly their last album with sprawling and epic tracks with string sections layered on top of the usual synthpop-driven rock — much of Science of Noise carries an epic sound, moving and progressing like scenes in a movie. This is particularly noticeable in the instrumental and ambient tracks like “ReSet” and the spoken word piece, “Pathways”.
From the very first SLIGHTER I ever heard, there was always a really strong Nine Inch Nails connection. Even as he ventured into other electronic realms, you could still hear it in the synths he chose, in the way the distortion was applied. Science of Noise — available on Bandcamp and iTunes — is similarly touched by its roots, but the roots go far deeper and are much more broad; any connections to Trent Reznor in his work are gone. As a result, Science of Noise sounds far more mature and original than anything else SLIGHTER has released previously.
02 Above Ground
03 Caught Up (featuring Nica Brooke)
04 Last Light (featuring Wolftek)
06 Dark Matters
07 Pathways (featuring R. A. Desilets)
08 Wrecked (featuring Risk Letter)
09 Deadly (featuring Simon Latham)
12 An End to the Beginning (featuring Chris Sterio)
13 Caught Up (Chamber Version) (iTunes-only)
13 Bonus Track (Bandcamp-only)