After hearing some raving about this duo from Providence, RI, I finally caught a show by them at Death by Audio a while back and was absolutely blown away. I immediately sought out the band after their show and got a copy of this tape. When I asked which release I should get, I was told "This tape is music, this one is noise, and this one is the new stuff we played tonight" - which carried the implication that the third option could be neither or both music and noise.
And that's very much what we have here. These are definitely songs, constructed from simple heavy beats and synth notes, but with cracked electronic noise that sometimes bleeds in at the edges, sometimes plays an integral role, and occasionally threatens to wash the musical elements away in a mudslide of static. The best part of this and the central element is the powerful and powerfully delivered female vocals. It sounds something like if the Eurythmics were forced to do a recording session with Wolf Eyes and the results were the best thing either of them had ever done.
What I love best about this album, and this band, is the thematic unity of the sound, the art, and the performance. There's a push and pull of beauty and ugliness at work, in the lyrical content, the noise/music tension within the sound, and the way bruises and scratches are used as album art. It's precisely a meditation on what it's like to be human (a human beast), which can be scary, gross, and gorgeous at the same time.
You can order this tape or download the album as MP3s for free at their Gross Domestic Product label/website HERE.