I like to imagine that Die Scum Inc. is some kind of low-budget movie studio that actually puts all of said budget into their soundtracks, pumping out the hits to go along with their theater of the mind flicks (what they lovingly call “Notion Pictures”), and if their first release of “My Fist is Fight” was their fatal fury foray into the Martial Arts/Action section of the cerebral video tape rental store, than “The Epoch Code” is certainly their other worldly cyber invasion onto the shelves of the Sci-Fi/Thriller genre and it will infect you.
As Die Scum Inc. themselves explain, they “want you to imagine a dystopian near future, and let your imagination and the song titles take you from there.” Which is exactly what I intend to do, starting with Reports In, as a haunting technological melody awakens me to the dawn of a new day in this mortal coil. It’s my cell phone, it’s the chief, and there’s been a report of an incident involving my partner not too far from my arcology unit.
I am a First Responder and, after hopping into my car, I am out of the garage and hitting the rain slicked yet still dirty streets. Much like the song, I am trying to OutRun time, with a pulse pounding and adrenaline fueled beat, white knuckles on the wheel as I weave in and out of traffic.
I arrive on the scene, the sound of rain still falling off the awnings of nearby buildings, a crowd already formed and murmuring about the dead body on the ground while sirens continue to roar in the distance. The body, still warm, is my now former partner. His Investigator Chip has been removed, signs of the long thought gone “Parts Killer,” and thus a Cold Case reopens.
He once left me for dead, the infamous “Parts Killer,” a worthy Adversary if ever there was one. Memories of that night continue to haunt me, like a pounding and unrelenting beat, much like my footfalls across the rooftops, sounding like claps in the night. I will never forget The Encounter that we had, when I eventually caught up to him, a battle of mostly man vs. mostly machine with the sounds of lasers, tires screeching in the night, lightning crackling in the sky and my meaty fist slamming against metal like a furious drum beat.
But it was not enough and, as I lay there coughing up my own blood, the “Parts Killer” ripped out my cybernetic eye. I screamed out in pain, clutching the combination of sinew and circuits oozing out of my face, and it was then that the “Parts Killer” explained to me his plan and what it would mean for me and rest of humanity that did not willingly comply.
“It will be paradise,” he explained, “all entities united under one central neural processor, moving to the same hypnotic beat, like under the spell of a piper’s music as it ebbs and flows in perfect harmony. It’ll make you want to dance, like in a trance; I call it Humanity 2.0!” With that, he left me to die, or so he thought as luckily my partner showed up to save me just in time.
If only I could have returned the favor, I think to myself, as I instinctively brush the hair away from my eye patch; old habits die hard. I search the body of my fallen compatriot and find something interesting in his coat pocket, the business card of a local radio station, and that’s when I’m hit with a series of Revelations.
I hop back in my car and head for the radio station, tuning my radio to it’s frequency, where I’m met with DJ banter before he introduces the song. It’s an upbeat track, the kind that will make you drum along on your steering wheel and dance in your seat, and I’ll admit that for a moment there I forgot all about my troubles in the world. But then things quickly turned sinister.
The “Parts Killer” was now on the air, spouting his next-stage of humanity bullshit again, and I knew that I was on the right path. However, that path soon diverged as my car spinned out of control as if it had a mind of it’s own and all I could do was brace for impact. I crashed into a wall and laid motionless, the world became blurry, but I could still hear the “Part’s Killer” off in the distance…
“I have unleashed a new age upon this world, thanks to all the parts that I have collected over the years, for they have granted me the necessary security clearances and technology to advance the human race. That beat that you hear in your mind now, those electronic impulses that come together to produce those euphoric synthetic sounds, they are your new gospel and I am your god. Gone are the days of individual humanity, for now is the age of a collective computer consciousness, you’re all one with the electronic music; The Epoch Code!”
Of course, that was just my personal interpretation, but again like Die Scum Inc explained themselves the purpose of their music is to lose yourself in it and fill in the blanks yourself. It’s that overall approach by Die Scum Inc that I really appreciate and I feel sets them apart because, while there is nothing wrong with having a predetermined story behind your music, such as a concept album, sometimes it’s worth it to just let the listener escape into a world of their own.