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Ahab Rex
Blood on Blond
Lens Records

Ahab Rex fully incorporates the vast diversity of Chicago scene-rock into Blood On Blonde, resulting in a post-industrial power pop hangover (think Urge Overkill signed to Wax Trax! Records). Blood On Blonde’s slender production, processed breakbeats and club-ready drug dirges take many shapes as Rex progresses through an intoxicant-fueled romp of skuzzy discothèques and shady alleyways: from the pre-party grime lines of “To Whom It May Concern” (“Well I was born again through chemistry for a second chance at this”) to the buzz-deadened, slow-creep sunrise of “Dope Sick” with it’s Tom Waits howl and deadly-sick oboe flourishes.
Blood On Blonde’s early standout cuts, “Ordinary Things” and “Queen of Softcore,” invert plastic pop structures, dynamic indie rock and faux-doowop soul, respectively, with the help of Public Image Ltd’s Martin Atkins and all-around industrial wunderkind Chris Connelly. Both tracks allow Ahab Rex’s sinister, gravel-growl vocals to be framed and contrasted by Brooke Cassell’s everyday woman backing swoons, like a classic Stax gone goth.

The eclectic tracks only sometimes get bogged down by Rex’s flare for the clichéd, as on the roadtrip-to-hell narrative of “To Whom It May Concern” where lines like, “We started out in Kansas with a suitcase full of dreams/ We’ll I’ve never seen the ocean, but I’ve heard there are better things” emerge as disconnected attempts to reconstruct a story that dried up long ago. But the death-stomp garage slag of “Bye Bye My Baby” and the static damaged vocals and spider-leg guitar solos of “Undertow No. 5” quickly make up for any ground lost. The addition of two remixed tracks (by Pigface and Assasins) fleshes out the disc with some dark-disco beats, but don’t manage to distance themselves enough from the originals.

Favorite Track: Track 1, "Ordinary Things ”

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Christopher j Ewing is a writer and filmmaker living in San Francisco with a girl and a designer dog (Chihuahua vs. dachshund). He is in a band by himself and has a myspace account ( and a production company ( for freelance film and crit/journo work.

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