Young Gods Second Nature

For the past 15 years, the Young Gods have subtracted the guitars while combining electronica, art rock, industrial, metal and the kitchen sink, handing the band their legendary status as innovators. Similarly, for the past 15 years, many have attempted to figure out what vocalist Franz Treichler is singing about. Second Nature continues both hallmarks of the band history in exemplary fashion. "Luicidogen" and "Supersonic" kick off the album with the same sonic cut and paste, guitar-less rock feel the trio reformed with their last two albums before easing up on the gas and the din for a wholly ethereal, almost ambient experience. The overall balance of Second Nature is richly layered with electronic textures and pseudo-tribal drum work from new drummer Bernard Trontin. The sample and sonic wrangling that make up the "riffs" are lush and soulful - even if they are run through Al Monod's keyboard sampler - and Treichler's voice is as haunting as ever. Of course, things wouldn't be the same if you could understand his stream (nay, river!) of consciousness babble. (Inoxygene)