Finally coming to fruition after it was first announced about two years ago, Trash Deity’s first album, Cross & Divide is now set for release. The collaboration from Franke Nardiello (aka Groovie Mann of My Life with the Thrill Kill Kult) and John D. Norten (Blue Eyed Christ) finds the duo reaching into their past Wax Trax! industrial-dance roots and pushing them through modern production techniques. The album (10-songs, 41 minutes) sounds like something you would hear in a smoke-filled, dimly-lit strip joint located in a far-off dystopian city. Or put another way, this is the cousin of Chris Connelly and Jason Novak’s recent Cocksure collaboration. Indeed, that would be an awesome tour package. Despite the obvious similarity to the Wax Trax! scene, there’s something here that stretches beyond those confines.
Tracks like “Run 4 Your Lies!,” “Finger on a Trigger,” and “Fame Games” feature sounds and samples percolating beneath throbbing bass lines and hypnotic drum machines. Others, Like “Cross and Divide” and “Frantic Child” veer toward the hardcore end of the spectrum, more sinister and sleazy than the others. As Nardiello sings “I want to mold you in to someone that I can love,” on “Hardrive” you get the feeling that his distorted vocal track mirrors an emotionally dark and angry inspiration. “Emotional Matter” features a broader, EBM-like soundscape where things open up a bit while retaining the general mood of the album. “Icons and Idols” is one of the best tracks on this album. A bit slower and pensive, with a languid guitar line simmering throughout, it’s a song that pays tribute to a laundry list of fallen rock stars (everyone from John Lennon to Aaliyah). Closing out with a remix of “Finger on a Trigger,” the album wraps with the same intensity from which it started.
While it may be hard to separate the Wax Trax! origins of Trash Deity’s members, you don’t have to be a dyed-in-the-wool aficionado to get your ass shaking to this album. Rather songs from this album should fit comfortably alongside contemporary dance floor numbers. That’s all to say rivetheads will love it, but even genre outsiders will find an appreciation for Cross and Divide.
– J. Kevin Lynch