Not to sound like any more of an old man than I already am, considering I probably did enough of that in my last post, but you know what I also miss? Video Rental Stores! I can still recall a time, back in the early-to-mid 1990’s, when there were no less than half a dozen of them in my immediate area; and I’m not just talking Blockbuster! These were mostly small, privately owned, and of the Mom & Pop variety; yet they were no slouches when it came to their selection and presentation! One of them had a popcorn machine, another had a mini theater, and one had a massive wall of wrestling tapes. It was a magical time.
While there were certainly a lot of pros and cons associated with video rental stores, which led to their eventual downfall in the late-1990’s and early 2000’s thanks to the rise of Netflix and others, I do yearn for their return at times. Yes, it’s most certainly easier to just peruse a streaming service in your own home, where you don’t have to worry about something being out of stock, but at the same time there’s been a feeling lost in translation in terms of no longer having something physical to inspect. I mean, when I think back to my days of meandering through the shelves at my local video rental stores, I often recall admiring each and every section but mostly the horror and sci-fi sections.
Which, in so many words, is why I enjoy the “VHS Box Edition” of Microchip Terror’s debut full-length album, “Illegal Experiments.” It reminded me of those days when I would relish the thrill of the hunt in discovering a new release. Continue reading
Microchip Terror doesn’t waste any time in hitting you fast and hard with their mechanically-charged brand of industrial dark synth. Right off the bat with their opening song, “Targeted for Termination,” they have your ears in their sights as they hammer heavy beats directly into your brain like a headphone infused drill press. With a little vocal sampling from “The Terminator,” you almost get the sense that you are in a future war with killer robots; it’s the song to the tech-apocalypse.
The assault on your senses doesn’t stop with the next song, “Relentless Bug Hunt,” as the tracker from “Aliens” masterfully transitions into the song itself. With further “Aliens” vocal sampling peppered throughout, you can almost feel yourself being overrun on LV-426, and it’s game over! Game over, man!
The next song, “Cyber Tyrants,” I would say slows it down just a little bit compared to the first two, but in context that’s like saying you dialed it down to ten from eleven. It’s a bit more methodical in it’s design, not unlike that of a robot doing deadly calculations, with slow and brooding synths giving rise to a pulsating beat before melting your face with a killer guitar solo courtesy of Electric Dragon. It is without a doubt my favorite track on here.
Rounding out the last two tracks on the album are a SurgeryHead remix of “Targeted for Termination,” which is much more ambient and subdued but just as deadly in execution, and a cover of Fabio Frizzi‘s “Apoteosi Del Mistero” from City of the Living Dead. As a huge fan of Lucio Fulci, and the music in his films, I really loved this cover and even found it to be a bit of an improvement over the original! It’s far more darker, sinister, and evil in this version and my hat is off to Microchip Terror for nailing this one. I’d happily pay to hear more Italian horror movie soundtrack covers! While you can pay whatever you want for this album, even free, I implore you to pay at least a buck or two and even more because Microchip Terror certainly deserves any and all support you can give.