Meat Beat Manifesto - Autoimmune
Record Label: Metropolis Records
Release Date: April 8, 2008
While he is but a small name in the electronic music scene, English-born Jack Dangers and his electronic group Meat Beat Manifesto have given a lot to electronic music if only by pure quantity. In the 20-year history of the group, they have released 11 albums, including their most recent record Autoimmune. Dangers even netted songs on the Matrix and Underworld: Evolution soundtracks.
However, Dangers attempts to show what more he can add to electronica with his 70-minute monster of a record in Autoimmune. Autoimmune contains a lot of dark industrial overtones, but too much of the attempts to create a dark world are offset by Dangers injecting a boring reheated house sound with beats coming first and inspiration coming wildly second. For example, "Lonely Soldier" opens with a jarring vocoder-enhanced voice sulking about being a lonely soldier, but rather than polarizing the listener with a frightening setting, the song dissolves quickly into another issue of beat over content with the jangling drums-and-bass overshadowing the song's subject. And while adding dance elements to fine music only makes the sound that much better, adding drums and bass to a sound that doesn't need it only annoys the listener further.
Other attempts to diversify the album fall flat on their face, such as the addition of MC Azeem to the track "Young Cassius." MC Azeem sounds exactly like Dizzee Rascal and yet his nearly one-minute long rap to open the track isn't nearly as creative or solid as Rascal and is just an all around subpar effort. The album's 70 minutes is split up into 12 tracks with most of those tracks going on for far too long. And while Dangers seems to be in control of his group's sound, that sound is dated by around 10 years. With the fact that electronic music has had the pure excitement of Daft Punk and the rock group attitude of Justice, the bar to create fun, clever, and uncompromising electronica has been raised, but sadly Autoimmune doesn't quite pass the bar.