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Agent Side Grinder "Hardware," An Album Review

Monday, 01 July 2013 00:00
Published in Album Reviews

Agent Side Grinder's latest release, a double-album titled “Hardware,” has all the vibe from the late 70's being deconstructed. The echoes, beats and resonance just wants to get the body moving once those headphones are plugged in. And for old timers like me who hail from a different era, this is one album that I can really get into.

The titular track, "Wolf Hour" (featuring Henric de la Cour) is perhaps my most favourite. The images that form in my mind are like that of an escapist fleeing down a metal forest. All anyone can hear is the resonance. The mechanical drumbeats suggest that there may well be robotic beasts stalking me, and I can hear them pacing.

Singer-songwriter Kristoffer Grip provides melodies that are very accessible to listeners who enjoy a broad spectrum of musical themes--from electronic to soul—and to hear "Rip Me" is very reminiscent to something I could hear on my old Commodore 64. Yeah, I'm that old, but when the album cover features a computer from the mid 70's and a monitor that's just as equally ancient (showing a sine wave no less), I can not help but think of some of those old video games I enjoyed playing. Remember Pong?

Retro gaming is a go-go, and I enjoyed this hobby while the punk rock movement was coming of age. The track "Die to Live" is an excellent song dedicated to counter culture. Listeners just have to very slowly absorb the words that Grip is making. I can listen to Agent Side Grinder and early Blondie at the same time. But the 80's was just as significant to influencing the sounds found in this album. Depeche Mode is definitely an influence in a few of the tracks, especially with the song "Look Within." 

But with certain albums, the music has to be absorbed into the body and soul in order to be appreciated. This CD release by Artoffact Records certainly does just that. This 23-track album contains 13 original songs and 10 remixes, and is available for purchase as your usual online music outlets.

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