Assemblage 23 Defiance

Question: does it mean you’re getting soft if the song you like the best on an EBM record is the ballad that clocks in at 70 beats per minute? Either that or the other numbers just don’t hit me where it counts. Not to say that this isn’t a pretty straight-ahead electro-industrial dance album, but it slips into that unfortunate "generic” category. I find if I’m not humming at least one track after a couple rotations, I’m most likely to hit the old skip disc button and call it a day. However, all is not completely lost here. Fans of the "Metropolis sound” will enjoy this to an extent and there are certainly enough stompy, beat-driven moments to keep any dance floor pumping. But if you really want to hear sole member Tom Shear at his finest, both in the vocal and music departments, check out the final and finest track "Lullabye.” Beautifully composed and executed, his partiality for synth-pop shines through, finishing things on a slower, softer note. (Metropolis)