network Bishop Kent Manning (CD, £1.75)label: Black Market Activities
New England's The Network have been extremely busy for two years. After spending years in their NH rehearsal space, the band ditched a monotonous safe path of secure day jobs to hit the road and further their raucous noisy art-rock. Taking lessons from the school of Coalesce and Bloodlet, The Network finally captured their full essence at God City Studio with engineer/producer Kurt Ballou. Even now during some rare downtime the band continue to scheme world domination, one basement at a time. The album title and theme is based on a short story by a member of the band about greed, regret, life, blind faith, death and consequence. The story is about a powerful televangelist of the same name. The main character is a criminal, narcissistic sociopath who sees himself as a god and rationalizes his corrupt actions under the guise of executing God's will. He realises the error of his ways, confesses his sins to an assailant and gets shot during a botched robbery. During a hospital stay he loses his mind. His life is full of regret, spirals out of control and he loses his faith. Upon concluding there is no God to confess to, the story ends in his suicide after drowning in puddles of confused guilt after encountering a former lover who suffered as a result of his horrendous actions. Dealing with themes of religious and political corruption, dangers of blind faith, the average person's weakness in the face of turbulence and their willingness to heed to demands of authoritative figures, The Network tackle the same subject matter they have since their inception. They continue to drive their brand of noise down the throats of all brave enough to listen. Only now their noise is much louder, their art is much more cohesive and the choir to whom they have been preaching has multiplied.
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