A nostalgic curiosity
Praga Kahn-led electro-industrial rock band Lords of Acid is back with a full-length release. Their signature sound and formula has not changed much over the last 30 years. And despite the use of hair metal influenced vocals, old drum machines and cheesy analog synths, the music sounds heavier and modern as ever. The production is powerful, groovy and hard-hitting, yet the often shallow and absurd vocals are inconsistent.
Pretty in Kink’s opener, “Break me,” is a hard-hitting introduction to the rest of the album. Classic ’80s synths and drum machines build into bursts of well-performed singing and thickly distorted guitars. The lyrical content is purely sexual, and most of the album and writing here is surface level and vapid. That’s not necessarily a bad thing; it’s sort of what makes Lords of Acid the Lords of Acid, but the intended immaturity could have been more interesting and here it sort of just feels like wallpaper.
“Ma Fille de Joie” is a fun highlight, the music sounds like wannabe Nine Inch Nails, but the vocals are dark and moody with a sexy edge. “Sex Cam Girl” sounds like creepy industrial synth-rock phone sex. It’s campy but fun, with fast grooves from the pulsing guitar and synth jabs. “Flow Juice” is a classic bouncy 808 dancefloor jam, and “Like Pablo Escobar” is some competent hair metal with a touch of modern flair. Later in the tracklist, “Goldfinger” adds more variety to the project with very psychedelic and Shpongle-like psytrance elements. “What The Fuck!” is a sorry attempt at nu-metal with clunky, amateurish rapping, but the closer “We Are the Freaks,” is an industrial rock banger that brings everything to an end by showcasing great personality and a grimy, demonic vibe.
The beats are hard-hitting and nostalgic, the synths are overflowing with analog character and the variety of the sound design really shows off the production skills of Praga Kahn. The singing only really shines on a few of these tracks and there are a few samey filler tracks. Yet the variety of sounds and styles is impressive and the flow of these different styles works surprisingly well. Pretty In Kink is a robust, flexible and goofy album, and fans of ’80s and ’90s dark electronic dance music should find something here to enjoy.