August 31, 2015 Victor Love – The Network EP (Album Review)
Rome, Italy based musician Victor Love of Dope Stars Inc. specializes in mixing Industrial beats and obscure leads with diverse vocals and Doom Metal guitars while he terms his genre as “Minimal Industrial Anti-Pop.” A “Do It Yourself” guy, Love recently did instrumentals, vocals, and mixing all alone for his debut solo EP entitled The Network. He has even produced a video clip for “Doom Trap,” the first track off the EP, solely from his smartphone. With this in mind, Love continues to protest “the current state of the music industry that is failing to support the underground scene” as The Network EP dropped on July 15th.
The Network is a 4-track EP of aggression, and, as Love puts it, “Distorted beats, obscure leads, synth guitars, and no f—s given. Beginning with the aggressive, futuristic “Neo Tokyo Underground,” Love fuses synths with sizzling guitars and drum machines into an anthemic “fight song” of sorts. One gets the sense of walking the streets of Tokyo, the throngs of people weaving in and out of each other like the elements of the tune, or like being at a rave, the lights flashing in tandem with the beat as it alternates hooks with measured dizzying speed. Next, “Doom Trap” is the epitome of what Victor’s fighting against…the industry’s abject ignoring of the rising underground talent with the track’s hypnotizing intro of repetitious synth keys as Victor’s lyrics cut, “How could let my music crack in the hands of these thugs/and I know they ripped me off just like everybody.” The repetition feels like a musical metaphor for the vicious cycle of the industry holding the carrot out to the underground talent, and then, yanking it back, but Love gets the last laugh like a walk-away middle finger with the mini-explosion/implosion sound bite and abrupt silence.
Carrying on with the reality check is “Net Reality.” This track mixes seamlessly from the last with the hypnotizing, repetitive synth keyed intro with a bit of variation tonally as a Hip Hop beat kicks in accompanied by Metal guitars. Victor shows his lyrical prowess, “Give me all you own totality/let me shape your own reality,” as he sings about the falseness of media becoming our gullible reality. The Network’s finale is “Machine Gun,” a Hip Hop/Metal mashup with shades of David Bowie and Trent Reznor’s “I’m Afraid of Americans” tonally with its choppy synths strokes and guitar riffs like machine guns throughout as Love raps about close-mindedness; “So why don’t you care to have new point of view/think of what I’m telling you. Really I won’t f–k you, Dude/give it just a chance.”
In this world of cookie-cutter, studio fabricated music, if not bands themselves, and if The Network EP is any indication of what the world can expect from a full-length album from Victor Love, the world is in for a musically innovative independent treat bringing the underground scene into the mainstream practically single-handedly. CrypticRock gives The Network 5 out of 5 stars.