Pendulum: In Silico

Considering my location, people find it very strange that I listen to electronica and many of its subgenres. America is rather devoid of any electronic music and this is especially true in the deep south.

My experience with electronica to this point has mostly been with genres such as Trance, Downtempo and even some Triphop. And then over this last spring break, I found out about a little something called Breakbeat. We’ll get into how I found out about that some other time.

Now then, In Silico was released in May of 2008, about a year after the Hold Your Colour album was released. Hold Your Colour is most famous for the song “Slam,” which was featured in the PS3 launch title Motorstorm. In fact, “Slam” is probably Pendulum’s greatest hit, which means that In Silico has some pretty big boots to fill.

Right off the bat, you’ll notice that they’re doing things a bit differently these days. “Show Down” keeps the breakbeat intact, but the electronic feel takes a back seat to some heavy guitar work and thundering bass. Lyrics are also very much more upstaged this go round as evidenced by almost every song having lyrics woven all the way through them.

Honestly, this feels like “electronica lite” to me. My friends who hate electronica (which they are VERY quick to remind me of when they ride with me in my car…) not only tolerated it but said that they actually enjoyed it. My primary genre of listening is electronica, so I must say that this is a refreshing direction that has been taken with this album. Old fashioned rock sensibilities have been layered over the tried and true Breakbeat and filled in with electronic flourishes. The finished product is indeed fascinating to listen to. However rock elements are not the only things in play here…

“Propane Nightmares” starts with a trumpet solo which sounds like it had its origin south of the border accompanied by a classic James Bond esque guitar part. This then shifts into a hard electronic part with the introduction of the vocals. And just in case that wasn’t confusing enough, the percussion part comes into the mix. Despite all of these far fetched parts being used in this situation, the song is in fact my favorite from the album.

It would really be easier to say what I don’t like on this album. “Showdown” is rather dull in my opinion. “Mutany” is a little past over the top. Ok, “a little over the top” is a mild way of saying it, but you get the point.

In short, this is a good album if you are interested in trying something electronic for the first time but are afraid of getting some strange “I have a straight 4:4 beat and this Scifi quote that I’m going to loop over and over again” album. If you’re into electronica like I am, give this a try! It’s most certianly different from anything else you’ll find in Breakbeat or anywhere else for that matter.

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