Roughhausen is the current project of former FRONT LINE ASSEMBLY, WILL & DECREE guitar player Jeff Stoddard who is joined by the delicious hello kitty sexiness of death rock bassist Lin Pei-yin and the psychotic groove funk/punk poundings of Asian metal circuits’ legendary Billy Drummed. The Medicated Generation is Roughhausens’ 4th full length LP and their debut on US based label LABTOY MUSIC.
The Medicated Generation is a handpicked collection of songs from previous Roughhausen LP’s remixed by a slew of crazy talented producers in a variety of styles, genres and moods. Each producer was personally chosen by Stoddard who continues his tradition of each release being a collective umbrella of friends, artists and musicians coming together to produce an album.
What is drastically different about this album is that this time Stoddard handed over the producers’ duties entirely. For each song a producer was selected, the material was provided and a carte blanche, wide open permission was given.
Producers ranging from Alien Skin, Produkt, First Black Pope, Exageist to Ph-ARM, Impurfekt, Pipebomb and Chicago based NYX, turn out monster beats, massive hooks, thunderous drums, and insane determination to demolish dance floors and cast Roughhausen material under a spotlight contemporaries will find very hard to match.
I particularly enjoyed the way the Producers blended harsh noise and dissonance with such driving melodies and hard rock hooks. “Control” is brutal, but compelling. By all calculation, it should be grating on your ears, but instead you just want to dance or shake your head. While the rhythm is tight, there’s this wonderful feeling of looseness as if the instrumental parts weren’t purposely, 100% quantized on the grid. This lack of rigidity remixed by NYX seems to be one of the key factors in the very danceable nature of this track.
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If you have a powerful stereo, “Fuk” the Exageist remix will rock the house like nothing you’ve ever heard. This Dubstep influenced track is incredibly dynamic, almost tearing the air away around you. Then again, if the opening seconds of “Gut” the Produkt remix doesn’t tell you a thing about what you’re in store for, you aren’t listening. The explosive vocal and drumbeat comes marching in like its coming to destroy you, and in a way it is!
In truth Roughhausen is here to destroy. In this case, Stoddard and his remixing cohorts have come to demolish your preconceived notions about what modern electro music can be if mixed with industrial rock. Until recently I haven’t been particularly in love with this genre mix and its derivatives, which I feel is cluttered with under-average artists who rely on bad samples and horrendous noise to captivate a somewhat dimwitted audience. My opinion is starting to change as I am introduced to artists who are challenging this perception with real instruments. Roughhausen is one of them. They deliver an almost controlled ‘insanity.’
From the opening track “Gut”, to the very last second of “Sleazebag”, I found myself, not only captivated, but amazed, entertained, and wholly energized. The Medicated Generation album comes like a bull charging towards its victim, with so much momentum and energy that attempting to slow it down would be a dangerous endeavor. Roughhausen songs are constantly changing, never relying on one rhythm or single phrase for too long. And these songs are not light, easy-listening electronica either. They’re harsh and brash, with the dirty crunching sound beds turned up almost too high for comfort.
Containing seven tracks, remixed into 15 downright and dirty flavors, The Medicated Generation is not your average electronic album, this is a hardcore revelation for ears that can handle the Roughhausen sound!
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