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May 2000 Pick of the Month
Suspension of Disbelief
Artist:  AP2
Label:  Tooth & Nail Records
Time:  12 Tracks/50:34 minutes

My Sympathies

A few years ago, there was a Christian industrial band named Argyle Park.  They sold a modest number of CDs on the now-infamous R.E.X Music, then, after being let down by the label, disbanded.  There weren't many people who ever expected them to release another album, but they have, with a new name, AP2, and a new label, Tooth & Nail Records.

Suspension of Disbelief begins quietly, with a single piano note repeated several times.  The ironically titled opener "The End" then explodes, with a tortured vocal screaming "I am the damaged!" until you're silently begging him to stop.  The song then quietly backs down, becoming a slow moving electronica piece that's quite pleasant to listen to.

The eleven songs that follow it feature not only the two members of AP2, Level and Buka, but also guest singers such as Mark Salomon (Stavesacre, The Crucified), Klayton (Circle of Dust, Celldweller), Joel Bell (Ghoti Hook), and Daren Diolosa (Klank).  These vocalists do a superb job with their songs, with the exception of Diolosa, whose number "Silhouette of Hate" is grating and obnoxious.  The standout track, vocally, is "My Sympathies," whose verses find Salomon pouring his guts out onto tape:

     Before I plead my case
     Before we start again
     Do you know your place?
     Do you understand who started this?

     You mean nothing!
     Your words mean nothing!

Salomon's intensity is then sharply contrasted by Klayton apathetically singing "It's got nothing to do with me."  This contrast between the vehement and the indifferent is found all over the album, and keeps my interest longer than any industrial album has even been able to.

My favourite track, though, has no lyrics.  On "The Pact," vocalist Sage mumbles Indian chants over a bed of soft industrial music, with an overall effect similar to the opening of "The Prophet" by Sunny Day Real Estate (or any number of Prayer Chain songs).  It's the most pop-directed song on the CD, and far catchier than you'd think that a wordless number could be.

AP2 now stands at the brink of redeeming Christian industrial.  I hope they're up to the challenge.

Michial Farmer 4/27/2000

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