L.O.T.I.O.N. Digital Control And Man’s Obsolescence Review + Full Stream
Between L.O.T.I.O.N.’s Legacy of Terror In Occupied Nations demo and their now infamous live show, it has been hard to tell what to expect from Digital Control And Man’s Obsolescence. These current New York inhabitants have made quite a name for themselves, making quite a bit of noise mixing both reverberations and mediums with the typical setup of a rock band. While both “Fukushima Fallout” and “Goodbye Humans” are both on the demo, they are barely comparable songs to what is laid before you on their first full length LP, which not only keeps true to their sound but expands upon it.
“Militarized Urban Zone(Redux)” sounds like what I imagine war sounds like. The whistle and clamor of chaos pushes only for confusion, and awakens weird memories whilst forming new nightmares. It is hard not to hearken these sounds to something I would be obsessed with in the 90s, but I’m sure everyone, especially the band, are bored of such comparisons by now. “Ultimate Wound Kit” is as industrial-driven as the rest of the record, but has two of the catchiest guitar parts on the whole album. The songs use repetition, not out of laziness, but to create an almost trance-like state that feels ritualistic.
The driving words of “They do this to people” on repeat in “Torture Report,” laid over layers of latent obstinate noise that pulls itself together and apart simultaneously, makes the song intriguingly auspicious and a true standout. The beat crushes on over an evacuation order as it descends into “Fukushima Fallout,” which devolves into the most filth-dredged song of L.O.T.I.O.N.’s 25 minute stay. There is not enough time to reflect in its three and half minutes before it rings out like an abandoned Casio mid acid trip that is abruptly forced into “The Machine.” Perhaps the most “punk” on the album, it as obtrusive as the content of it’s lyrics.
“Vid the Pigs” slips into a more mid-tempo feel that beacons for the filming of police as an act of rebellion. While this may on the surface seem like a generic anti-police punk style song, it holds more relevance than a flash in the pan call to arms. We certainly live in a time (in America) of abject injustice. Though we may sometimes push against technology and its intrusive aspects, we hold great power in its tiny packaging. We hold the power to tell the truth, and to force accountability on wrongdoers, and in that we have created an even greater responsibility that is placed in the hands of all of us. The overarching lyrical content may seem perversely esoteric on the surface, but considering the shape of our modern culture, we are actually living in twisted times reminiscent of a downtrodden Dan Carlin monologue or Discharge lyrics – a time of lies, deceit, genocide and almost Orwellian government control. These are not words that tell of the past or forebode of some future, but those who choose to tell of a time, present, who has serious issues that need to be addressed in a forthcoming manor. Issues easy to turn away from, ones you can hide from in your everyday lives, ones begging to be heard. At a minimum, I feel it is a time to reflect upon what is happening to the humans that surround us, especially those put in less fortunate positions. If it takes a song to help us contemplate what is important in our society, than I applaud it.
“Born In 1984” pushes away from mid-tempo and charges almost catastrophically until petering to some unbridled repetition, before a calm voice transitions to an even more discordant song with “Welcome to the Civilized World.” Its incessant clang creeps on over lyrics of violence and ignorance punctuated by a beyond haunting chorus. It is interesting that a collection of music could be so unabashedly anti-technology when it is so electronically driven – “Computers Don’t Have a Heartbeat” seems almost post-ironic in it’s emphatic disposition. The beat sits almost dormant behind overly confrontational guitar tracks, causing a disturbing dichotomy further illustrated in it’s final chorus that leads directly into the almost M.A.N.-sounding riff of “System Error.” Throughout it’s duration, the onslaught of aggression has been forthcoming and constant, culminating in a full on noise assault that falls into what is perhaps the catchiest beat of the album on “Goodbye Humans.” Screams of progress ring out as farewells are hurled towards our beloved race. As the album winds to its final moments we are left to look upon our own existence and what it means not only to us, but to those we share this planet with. What our future holds may not be certain, but it is important to remember that it is up to us and us alone.