"Good day to you Sir! Do you like tunes with your noise?"
Fundustrial anyone? Chris McCall's second album proper under his Coreline moniker is a blend of noise, trance and happy hardcore all held together with a deft ability to turn in a great melody too. It's shot through with a personal (and slightly deranged) view of the world that you just can't manufacture. McCall's personality explodes out of every track whether that be for good or evil. For example, McCall has admitted that the track Diz Tanz was created purely as an exercise in attempting to come up with a formula for the most derivative electro track. (He canvassed potential lyrics and the title on a music forum - plumping for the most bland amalgamation of musical and lyrical elements.) The results are indeed predictable, and McCall even admits to hating the track. So a bit odd then to give over valuable space to it on the album? Not really. Not least in McCall's world. You definitely get a sense that with the Coreline project, McCall is just putting together stuff that piques his interest and amusement, and if other people happen to like it too then that's just fine.
Thankfully though, given that this is mostly great at breaking new ground, adventure pilots will find a cornucopia of delights in Bone and Blood as Stone and Mud. This has to be recommended listening if only for the brilliant opening song (Coreline Builds) Better Robots - a mighty piece of composition that integrates the Easingwold School children's choir into a huge noise anthem. Yes, you did read that correctly. Remarkable and a thrill to hear… and completely insane, of course. Coreline's recorded output is only part of the equation though and for the full impact I strongly urge you to check out one of their surrealistically brilliant live performance shows. The full-on hardcore tracks like Dance Electric are less successful away from a club setting, but still there are some like Magic _ Science [your choice] that add an intellectual bent to the beats that makes the hardcore stuff more imaginative and engaging.
McCall's fondness for classical music comes to the fore on the 'Does what it says on the tin' of This Is Industrial Baroque. If you ever wondered - wonder no more! Meanwhile, Solastalgia really nails the strings and stuttering noise percussion combination better than anything else here. Middle is the only track to feature a regular vocal, courtesy of a forlorn David Lawrie, that is the perfect counterpoint to the acoustic guitar peeking through a doom-laden cloud of dark beats. Not easy to categorise, it's perhaps too populist for the noise labels and two noisy for the popular labels, so this winds up being a Coreline self-release. Don't let the short-sightedness of labels not brave enough to put this out dissuade you (if there were a dsoaudio label this would be on it). Genius or nutter? I think a bit of both, but you really ought to decide for yourself. 8/10
Rob Dyer (July 2009)