Suicide released their debut album 40 years ago, so it’s a miracle when current bands can still breathe life into the “menacing vocals over minimal synth” genre. The Modern Institute is one of those bands. (RIP Alan Vega, btw.)
Whereas Suicide deployed steadier, more forward-driving rhythms, the Modern Institute’s rhythmic approach is scattershot and prone to fluctuations. On Another Exhibition (Domestic Exile), the synth lines underpinning the distorted, spoken vocals shift in dynamics and tempo but retain the same mood throughout, a mood that could best be described as “a mass of hungry worms writhing out of a rusted machine.”
“Have you been having pains in your head lately? In your temples? I trace a line across my forehead, from eye to eye. You have? That’s the crown of thorns, I say. We all have to wear it before the world can end.”
You can hear the influence of Mark E. Smith in the vocals– that rambling, paranoid element. But this is bleaker than the Fall. It’s forest-black, Catholic imagery set to a soundtrack of pulsating viscera. It’s shapeshifting forms in the night. The parts of your own mind that scare you.
Abandon all hope, ye who click ‘play’ on this embedded Bandcamp player.