Plastic Soul Impalement 
Artist: Training for Utopia
Label: Solid State Records (T&N)

This is one powerful record, but it doesn't start out with power chords. The first minutes of Training for Utopia's debut are a muffled machine noise pulsing over the forced, multi-layered whisper of the vocalist expressing his desire to be accepted for who he is. The second cut sets the tone for the rest of the record as it begins with the scream and then the fast and mighty music of a great hard core record--and this is a great hard core record! I like the vocalist's sing-song style that moves between talking and screaming, with a sprinkling of yelling thrown in. The band is terrific, too (Ryan Clark handles the vocals, Don Clark on guitar, Steve Saxby plays bass, and Morley Boyer at the drums). The talent is electric! The music is a neo-mix of styles like hard core, speed metal, industrial, and others. The CD has its share of surprises, as well, like the sixth cut that is full of mechanical hum, and the eighth cut that sounds like a storm while you sit in a tin roofed warehouse, until near the end of the song they sample an audio clip from what sounds like an old Humphrey Bogart-like film. Most of this disc, however, is a hard hitting, hard core, declaration; Training for Utopia is for real, and they are extreme. 

by Tony LaFianza