Guilty Pleasures

Nov 10, 2004 at 12:00 am

Industrial music isn’t all PVC and zipper masks. Sure, the genre’s dangerous. It’ll cut out your kidneys, wrap you in plastic and ship your straight-laced ass off to Real Sex #38. But if its more extreme elements are cut with equal parts danceability and rock ’n’ roll, industrial can kick up a kinetic and irresistibly sleazy energy. Detroit’s Haf/Life understands. Guilty Pleasures’ programmed drill press drums, grinding electric guitar drop-ins, and unifying synthesizer splooge build strobe-lit platforms for vocalist MD20/20 to preach from; down with dirty sex and living up to his nickname, he doesn’t so much sing as constantly lick your face. My Life With the Thrill Kill Kult slithers through the back alleys of “Detroit Underground,” while “Just Because You’re Paranoid Doesn’t Mean They’re Not After You” and “Freakdown” aim for the giddy, greasy head rush of White Zombie. Pleasures could use more guitar, to offset the constantly swirling programming. And Haf/Life is occasionally limited by its own grimy libido, hammering away relentlessly when we could use a breather. But the choruses are shoutable — “If you wanna fuck me/Well here I am!” — and the beats are hard and danceable, making the record a guilty pleasure indeed.

Johnny Loftus writes about music for Metro Times. E-mail [email protected].