The Great Collector - Misanthrope
Record Label: None
Release Date: August 26, 2008
It's hard not to admire the spirit of The Great Collector, or as he is known in the real world, London native Ross Jenkinson, a young man who clearly has an extensive collection of Nine Inch Nails CD’s in his collection, as the music sticks closely to the industrial rock stylings of Trent Reznor. His first EP release, Misanthrope, was produced almost entirely through home computer software, and unfortunately, it sounds like it; the percussion sounds tinny and the electronic vocals sound hazy. Production aside, there are some good ideas here, and the heavy metal guitars blend pretty effectively with the computerized beats, but it’s been done much better by others.
The almost Aphex Twin reminiscent opener “Bastogne” gives way to a very urban outro, with loud repeated gunshot noises - not the most pleasant or inviting introduction to an album, but it’s dramatically effective at least. The best moments on the CD are the heavy and atmospheric sound of “Empire,” and the piano-tinged softer more melodic “Anchor,” whereas the worst is the simply annoying “Machine,” which begins with an almost anthemic indie rock intro before falling into a chaotic mess of a track, with grating vocals and bland hooks. “Clearing” works well due to effective guitar effects and lighter beats, whereas closer “Oblivion” brings heavy R&B beats, which then switches to a full-on rock rhythm. It’s a rather bombastic and explosive, if a little perplexing, way to end a curious record.
In all honesty, there’s really not much to recommend here. If you like the electronica-meets-hard rocking sound of Nine Inch Nails, or even The Receiving End of Sirens, or if you enjoy the louder and heavier excesses of electronic heroes like Aphex Twin, you may very well get a good kick out of hearing Misanthrope, but there’s really not much here to offer anyone who isn’t already way into industrial rock. It’s hard to be too harsh on The Great Collector; it’s a rather commendable first effort, and there’s really not much wrong with the record, aside from the justifiably flimsy production, but there’s really very little reason for anyone to hear Misanthrope, unless as stated prior, you love, and I mean really love, industrial rock. If not, this will hardly cause an epiphany, so give this one a miss.