On November 29th, 2019, industrial legend Pigface will take the stage in Minneapolis, MN during Pigface's first tour in 14 years. However, taking the stage before Pigface is a very promising Minneapolis industrial trio, depotek on Facebook. Having only one EP, Line of Sight isn't allowing Minneapolis's music scene overlook them and any industrial fan reading this should do the same.
Line of Sight (tracklisting)
Humanoid (Wild Thing)
Hang Me High
Current Band Lineup:
Nick H - Bass, Guitars, Electronics, Engineering
Devin T - Drums, Production
M. Wolf - Vocals, Guitars, Electronics, Production
Cecilia Holmes - Keyboards, Backing Vocals (Joined in 2019)
While depotek may have many elements of older industrial acts, it would be ad complete misrepresentation to say they don't sound original. The music is eclectic and history has shown that industrial acts, not to label or pigeonhole them, are very diverse by nature. For those who are unfamiliar with industrial, no two bands/projects sound alike. It is more accurate to say that "industrial" is considered an umbrella term. In fact, Nine Inch Nails' Trent Reznor repeatedly stated in the 1990s that he doesn't feel NIN is industrial at all. Once I have a source, I will post a resource of this as it would be a very old article.
depotek is already starting in a wonderful way, in my opinion. Still fresh and with only a five-song EP to their credit, all five songs follow a concept Trent Reznor has always seemed to follow: variance. Two out of the five songs may have a similar style, however, the remaining three have their own singularity and are entirely their own entities. From a fellow musician's perspective, this is intelligent because you don't start off with any presumptions in follow up material, including their own expectations. It is too easy to get into a pattern that's difficult to deviate from.
"Android" begins with a very hooky drum sequence that reminds me of a lot of films and clubs with that dark and grainy atmosphere. Picture a scene in Underworld (2003)
or The Crow (1994)
when the bad guy characters are walking through a dark club. This is an excellent element and started hooking me right from the start, having never heard depotek before. It also introduces the listener to one, though not the only, that seems to run through the band: distinct basslines from Nick that state "I'm not just going to follow the guitar riffs". Wolf's vocals in the verses come in as a low toned, soft enunciated mutter but turn to a near industrial metal style growl in the chorus. The groove in the chorus and lead in to its finale has a definite "crowd sway" to it that I'm sure will be enjoyable to see live.
"No Tomorrow" starts with an odd time signature electronic arpeggio that also states its separation from the previous song. The grooves also follow a sort of crowd say atmosphere to it. Guitars definitely seem to be influenced by the old industrial acts with Wolf's vocals mixing the two styles of the previous song. It's very solid and consistent, though not boring or too repetitive.
"Blox" detours from the first style of the first two songs nearly completely. Opening with nearly thrash metal riffs and rhythms, it's very high energy with two-track vocals, one being rather melodic. Its chorus returns to the thrash and pulls back in the growly vocals. Its bridge separates styles once again, especially percussion which somehow mixes metal-ish double bass pedal with punk-style snares that sound fantastic.
"Hang Me High", my intent to be very complimentary, seems to have an good amount of influence of an industrial band that isn't actually listed: Sister Machine Gun
. Slower, cleaner drums open it up that doesn't sound industrial at all, which is followed by a very slow and slithery bassline that again illustrates the bassists individual efforts to the band as opposed to only following the guitar riffs. Vocals are also very different as Wolf waves in and out between a melodic tone and low mutter. I won't give away some surprise shifts in genre techniques other than there are elements that are, dare I say, bluesy.
"Humanoid (Wild Thing)" is likely the most difficult song to sum up in a short paragraph, which is wonderful. It drastically weaves in and out of different genre styles with low, distant and melodic vocals. Again, there are some nicely surprising elements, so I won't go into too much detail.
Overall, should you show up early to the Pigface show at The Cabooze in Minneapolis (November 29th, 2019)
to see them? YES. It would be a mistake not to, even if you leave not thinking it's not for you. They are different enough that, unless you're going to be following Top 40 radio that raises the question of why you're at a Pigface concert to begin with, they are "must check out". I'm even more excited that they are from Minneapolis as I would anticipate them to grow in popularity and success. Certainly keep a close eye on them. As always, if you can, support the band and grab some merchandise while you are there.
If unable to make it to the concert, which is likely, listen to them on Spotify or grab their digital music on Amazon. depotek is the first industrial pleasant surprise that I've encountered in a long time. I'll be recommending and continuing to listen.