Silent Weapons For Quiet Wars

Lab Animals

Digital Dimension Entertainment, 1999

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


Indecision is something I can't stand... I think. No, wait, let me get back to you on that.

Yet indecision is my opinion when it comes to industrial music or industrial-edged rock. On any given day, I may love a disc that I absolutely hated just the day before. I really don't know why this is; maybe it's because of my attitude that day, or what I'm in the mood for hearing - or maybe I just don't know sometimes how to react to the music I'm hearing.

In the case of Lab Animals and their debut disc Silent Weapons For Quiet Wars, indecision is the best description for how I felt listening to the album. On one hand, there were some tracks that absolutely blew me away. On the other hand, I found myself wondering what new trails this trio was blazing that dozens of other bands in the same genre haven't walked. (Maybe I also should have listened to this disc before digging into the new Nine Inch Nails.)my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The band - Zeke William McNeil, Greg Peterson and Richard Newman - all seem to have the basic premise of industrial down without getting too radical about it: heavy synthesizer use, pounding bass lines that threaten to smash the cones in your speakers, and vocals that often rely on electronic doctoring to emphasize a point.

Normally, my smart-aleck comment at this time would be, "Been there, done that." But Lab Animals start out this disc in strong fashion with "Worlds In Collision," a track that had me thinking this was going to be an extraordinary listening experience. Indeed, tracks like "24 Hours In Hell" and "Some Other Destination" all had me thinking the same thing, and that Lab Animals might really be on to something with the chemistry on this disc.

Unfortunately, these moments of pure abandon faded faster than the Cubs' playoff hopes, as Silent Weapons For Quiet Wars quickly fell into the same patterns that I've heard on numerous other industrial albums. Had there been less nondescript tracks like "Angel Dust," "Pure" and "Death By Pain" on this one, it might have been an album that stood out even more than it did on its excellent tracks.

Two things about Lab Animals make me hold out hope that something great still lies in their horizon for them. First, I will admit that even their weaker tunes seem to catch you to the point where you don't realize how long it's been that you've been listening to this disc. They do know how to make almost an hour go by very quickly. Second, the tracks on this disc that are prime material make me think that they have one killer album in their veins, and that could be in their near future.

Silent Weapons For Quiet Wars has moments that suggest that Lab Animals will be a group to seriously contend with soon. If only it had more moments like that, it would have been a better than average album.

Rating: C+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 1999 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 Digital Dimension Entertainment, and is used for informational purposes only.