Nitzer Ebb: Industrial Complex

RIYL: Depeche Mode, Combichrist, My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult

Nitzer Ebb’s last album was Big Hit, which came out in 1995. Since then the group both broke up and got back together with hardly anyone noticing. It makes sense; they weren’t exactly superstars. Even at the peak of their popularity with tracks like “Join in the Chant” and “Fun to Be Had,” they were also-rans in the industrial/electronic scenes. They never got the success that groups like Depeche Mode enjoyed, and they never enjoyed the cult success of more abrasive and harder-sounding groups like Ministry and Skinny Puppy. So the fact that we’re even talking about Nitzer Ebb in 2010 is pretty amazing, and the fact that were talking about a great new record by Nitzer Ebb in 2010 is freaking mindblowing.


Seriously, where the hell did this come from? This is one of Nitzer Ebb’s best records to date. While it can’t top their earlier records in terms of originality and innovation, it can certainly hold its own against them when it comes quality. In fact, some of the tracks on Industrial Complex, such as the killer opener “Promises,” and the eerie ballad “Going Away from Me,” might be some of the best tracks the group has ever released.

Many of the best tracks on Industrial Complex owe themselves to the suddenly powerful vocals of Douglas McCarthy, who spent much of the ’80s and ’90s growling and yelling through the band’s best tracks. Here, he’s actually singing, and singing damn well at that. But fans of the ridiculous shouting matches of Nitzer Ebb old like “Join in the Chant” shouldn’t be too worried; McCarthy still howls his head off a couple times on Industrial Complex, like on “Payroll,” a sick and sleazy track that combines not-too-subtle metaphors about sucking with aggressive dance beats and a hard house sound ripe for remixing.

If you’ve been eagerly awaiting more Nitzer Ebb since their breakup in the ’90s, then your wait was well worth it with Industrial Complex. And if you’ve never heard the group before, then this is a shockingly great jumping-on point. (Artists’ Addiction Records 2010)

Click here for a free download of Nitzer Ebb’s “Promises”
Nitzer Ebb MySpace page