God, what an awesome band name. If I were to ever start a band, Love Sex Machine would definitely be on the shortlist of badass names to possibly call my act.* It’s surprising to hear that these guys come from France, as the French metal scene is most famous for Gojira and blackgaze groups like Alcest, Amesoeurs and Les Discrets, who focus much more on the uplifting side of heavy music rather than overwhelming slabs of relentless brutality. But on their debut LP from the aptly-named Throatruiner Records, Love Sex Machine show that the French can come very close to doing just as impressive a job of sludgy misanthropy as their American forefathers. This record is a monstrous assault on the eardrums in the tradition of Eyehategod and The Body, with pummeling riffs and anguished howls over driving drumbeats that leave naught but mangled corpses in their wake. The only problem with the album is that they retread this ground repeatedly, searching in vain for survivors of the initial assault until the bodies of the already-slain are ground into a fine pink paste by their ever-circling boots. It never hurts to be thorough when it comes to a massacre, but knowing when to move on to a new idea is key when making sludge metal worth listening to.
The monstrous “Anal On Deceased Virgin” opens the album, a punishing and pulverizing sludge monster that feels like a tank driving over a field of human bones. I was absolutely hooked from the onset, but the next six tracks cover the exact same ground as the initial song – fans of sludge metal like myself will likely still be able to get some joy out of them, but they don’t exactly bring anything new to the table, and those who are unacquainted with or unable to find joy in sludge will find them tedious. They’re built around the same basic grooves, the same angular riffs, and the same anguished screams as the opening cut – if you didn’t like that, it’s doubtful you’ll enjoy the majority of the album. My two favorite cuts come at the end, the absolutely devastating “Killed By Monster Cock” and the tension-building climb of “Warstrike Takes The Piss,”** as these have different riffs and grooves than the rest of the album does and do a good job of proving that the band can do something different. Putting them both at the end was a poor decision, however, as one would have to sit through the initial seven samey cuts to get to the good stuff. But this isn’t to say that the album as a whole is bad; these guys know exactly what kind of atmosphere to cultivate for maximum misanthropy. This is a pretty promising debut for a young band, and once they get a few more riffs down, they’re sure to turn some more heads and create a solid slab of sludge on their sophomore LP.
*Along with Vlad the Inhaler, The Grim Reefer, Blunt Trauma, The Dukes of Dank, The Sultans of Schwag, and other dumb weed jokes. I’ve spent far too much time thinking about this.
**Seriously, what is it with French metal and awesome album/song/band titles? The best example of this is definitely Gronibard‘s fantastic 2008 fartgrind masterpiece We Are French, Fukk You! Vive la France.
Artist: Love Sex Machine
Album: Love Sex Machine
Label: Throatruiner Records
Release Date: March 3rd, 2012