While not particularly groundbreaking or even very innovative, Sister Machine Gun's newest full-length CD is a satisfying example of what Industrial should be.
SMG has always been good at combining heavy metal guitar, pounding bass beats and electronic synth. Coupled with effects-laden vocals and and superior production, Influence is a good example of what's missing in the mainstream. From the pounding of the opening track, "To Hell With You," to the dark moodiness of the title track to the heaviness of "The Antagonizer," Chris Randall and Miguel Turanzas have managed to put together a tight, well-produced CD that will last the test of time.
Until you are intimately familiar with the CD, the lack of the standard 2-second break between songs is quite offputting since it's sometimes difficult to realize where one song ends and the next one begins. They attempted to sequence of the slower, darker songs interupted by the faster, more uptempo ones to makes up for this. Some of the songs are also too long and would benefit from shorter instrumental breaks. Those are small technincal complaints, though and they don't detract too much from the CD.
Altogether, it's an enjoyable CD from proven veterans of the style. If you're into industrial music, pick this one up.