Review: Kidneythieves’ “The Mend”

The details: In January of this year, nearly 1,600 fans helped fund everyone’s favorite industrial rock duo Kidneythieves’ Kickstarter campaign to bring “The Mend” to the public, resulting in over $75k. This is the second full album they’ve released independently and the first the band has crowdsourced. (Free previously crowdsourced a couple solo albums.) The passing of Bruce’s father pushed back the release date, but backers received their orders in early October.

The good: The production quality of the album is incredibly clean from the first note you hear after pressing “Play.” The album starts strong with “Fist Up,” a track that could have easily fit on “Trypt0fanatic,” and follows up with a slower but equally as impressive “Codependent Song.” Free’s voice rings out as strong and clear as ever.

The bad: The album’s pacing is terrible. After a good start, the tracks quickly swerve into a slower electronic experiment, as if someone had swapped out their playlist with Collide‘s. Things pick up with “Let Freedom Ring,” but knowing the lead singer’s name is Free Dominguez makes the title/chorus seem like a corny joke someone made while having a goofy high. Without any noticeable guitar riffs or solos, one has to question the significance of Bruce’s contributions to the album as a whole.

Judgement call: Free and Bruce have frequently delved into the more electronic side of their genre before, so fans shouldn’t be thrown off by any of the sounds on this album. But anyone expecting a sequel to the tight “Trypt0fanatic” or even a shout-out to the hard-soft-hard-soft track sequence of “Zerøspace” (the full album) is going to find themselves dividing a quarter of the songs into their downtempo mix, a couple tracks into their rock/industrial mix, and the rest in the trash.

Continue to support the band by picking up their independent releases through the Kidneythieves homepage, but do so by picking up a copy of “Trypt0fanatic” or a t-shirt.