Product Of A Two Faced World


Slipdisc / Mercury Records, 1998

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


In the world of industrial rock, it's one thing to act out the persona of the raging madman in the music and on stage. For Drown, I seriously think that their ravings are no act.

Drown's second album, Product Of A Two Faced World, starts off as solid but typical rock with an industrial bend to it, but by the time you hit the end of the album and the obligatory hidden track, the music turns into a form of primal scream therapy for vocalist Lauren and crew - and I defy any parent to listen to parts of this and not be frightened. More on that later.

Musically, Drown satisfies quite well. If there are keyboards used on my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 Product Of A Two Faced World, they are used with incredible moderation. Instead, the natural power of guitarist Patrick Sprawl, bassist Sean E. Demott and drummer Marco Forcone is allowed to power the twelve listed songs on the disc to their sonic limits. Lauren, who sounds a bit like Trent Reznor when he's screaming, proves he's a capable vocalist on several occasions; he is more than able to carry a tune on his own.

If you just gave the first half of Product Of A Two Faced World a cursory listen, you would probably brush off titles like "You Never Listened" and "Tired Of Living Like This" as typical gloom-and-doom industrial where misery is king. But the lyrical content of this album - especially towards the end in songs like "Two Faced You" and "Monster" - demonstrates that this misery sounds like it's been lived. Lauren launches into a vitriolic attack of his parents, especially his father - and I have no reason to believe that this hatred he's screaming about is an act.

More disturbing is the hidden track, which is backed with what appear to be comments that Lauren's parents have made to him in his past. This, frankly, should scare the shit out of any parent who has said anything condescending to their children. The scars are there, they're real - and they're still red and raw, in the case here. (How disturbing is this? Honestly, I don't think I could listen to that track again - and it's not often I say things like that.)

Product Of A Two Faced World might seem like it's too much of a downer to enjoy, but if you just listen to the album for the music and not the venom, then Drown does quite well, keeping the listener's interest early and often. Tracks like "Kerosene," "My Private War" and "The Day I Walked Away" all are some very powerful industrial rock, ranking among the better that I've heard this year.

Product Of A Two-Faced World is an album that should shock you as well as entertain you. It certainly does both, though the horrors of life that are re-lived on this disc might be too much for some people to take.

Rating: B

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© 1998 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Slipdisc / Mercury Records, and is used for informational purposes only.