The Phantom Tollbooth

Artist:  Torn Skin
Label: Blacklight Records
Time: 10 tracks/49:36 min.

In order to make good remixes, you need the original material to be solid stuff.  Happily, Torn Skin does just that with this EP.  With a solid grasp of post-industrial rock and a penchant for melody, Torn Skin will appeal to old-school industrial fans and those of the NIN generation as well.  The trade-off vocals between Jennifer Happach's angelic purr and Rob Buhl's raspy, distorted voice is great.  Throw in some solid programming, some crunching guitar and bass, and you've got a mix to rival Skinny Puppy or KMFDM.

There are three songs by Torn Skin, and seven remixes of the song "Mislead" by bands such as Fatal Blast Whip, 16 Volt, and Fish Tank 9.  The "Mislead" remixes range from the danceable beat put to it by Fatal Blast Whip to the slow haunting of the Colossal Spin remix.  While the seven remixes are all of the same song, their varied enough to almost stand alone as separate songs.

Lyrics such as:

and from "Mislead" make constant appearances throughout the remixes, tying them together with a common thread.  While this is basically a teaser for the upcoming release of Torn Skin's full length CD, there is enough good material here to make me very interested in hearing more of their original material.

Joe Rockstroh    8/24/99