Epitaph (2004) Michael

Error – Error cover artwork
Error – Error — Epitaph, 2004

It wasn't that long ago that a band released an album entitled The Shape of Punk to Come. While many ignored its principles, others took the manifesto that Refused declared with that album to heart. By combining elements of electronica, industrial, and punk, Error have done their best to realize the objectives that were intended to "start a revolution."

With a line-up that boasts members of Bad Religion and The Dillinger Escape Plan as well as individuals whom have worked with the likes of Rancid, Zach de la Rocha, and the ill-fated Tapeworm project, I really didn't know what to expect from this project. The brainchild of Atticus Ross, who is most known for his supposed work with Trent Reznor and Maynard James Keenan in Tapeworm, Error borrows heavily from the late 80's and early 90's industrial scene. While Atticus programmed the various drum and synth sequences, his younger brother Leopold provided the off-kilter guitar work for the project. Working together, the two created a sound that was very reminiscent of early industrial acts like Skinny Puppy, Ministry, and Front 242. It was these artists that paved the way for the likes of Nine Inch Nails, Marilyn Manson, Atari Teenage Riot, and a host of other industrial metal acts. After the Ross brothers had composed the basic song structure, the material would be handed over to Bad Religion guitarist and Epitaph Records owner Brett Gurewitz. Gurewitz was mainly responsible for writing the lyrics for the songs as well as seeking out a vocalist. He found his man in Greg Puciato, vocalist for The Dillinger Escape Plan. Throughout the EP, Puciato sounds strikingly similar to Refused vocalist Dennis Lyxz'n. Whether this was intentional or not, I haven't a clue. While Gurewitz is known for his rather original and introspective lyrics in Bad Religion, he falters greatly with this project. Puciato is left to scream the song titles over and over on "Nothing's Working" and "Jack the Ripper," though the occasional lyrical nugget does slip through. In an ironic twist, the strongest moment on the album isn't even their own. Error's cover of new-wave punk outfit 999's "Homicide" is likely a success due to the excellent song-writing on the original.

For a project of clashing personas this is a fairly well executed debut. But despite the big names involved, there is a lot lacking. When the best song on your album is actually a cover, there is a definite need to re-examine your strategy. It will be interesting to see where this project goes from here, if anywhere.

6.5 / 10Michael • March 24, 2004

Error – Error cover artwork
Error – Error — Epitaph, 2004

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