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first law
refusal as attitude
loki   2002
  see also
"violent sedated"
"velochrome"
first law/turbund sturmwerk homepage
loki foundation/power and steel website

album rating: 3
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submitted by jc smith on 23-Feb-2003

With their third full-length release (there’s also an EP), the hard to pigeonhole First Law have created, by far, their finest work to date.

Through a flush of psychedelic electronics, song constructions that feature more traditional guitar, bass guitar and drums, as well as a preponderance of samples, the cinematic is emphasized, while a more fluid, hallucinogenic agenda is always present. "In This Final Fleeding Second Of Life" (their odd spelling, though on the sample that accompanies this track, it actually sounds like that is what the person is saying), opens with propeller spun electronics that sink into the meat of a lackadaisical rhythm, accentuated by lightly slashing guitar, loping bass guitar, and the aforementioned samples, leading into a more prominent rolling bass that slinks through a like-minded array of echoed electronics and sludgy percussion during "A Generation Wasted," and a centerpiece sample from Fight Club ("We’re the middle children of history, man...") that resonates with hollow screeches and indecipherable noises seemingly recorded from within an empty subway station (though probably just studio trickery). "Denial" is a more pensive affair, the sounds tinged with trepidation, quirky loops pulsing beneath the weird, mutating electronics, ending with a goofy sample ("Denial is not just a river in Egypt") that seems out of place, and yet fits. "Close To The Verge Of Comprehension" is also adorned in moodiness, as synths shiver with discomfort, before a more ominous synth rises to vanquish the preceding tones amidst fluttering, scattered electronics. The 24:01 title track moves through many fascinating junctures, including one that seems to utilize Led Zeppelin’s "No Quarter" as a touchstone, highlighted by the watery piano of that track, before stumbling into a finale of epic grandeur via synths and bombastic percussion. (That said, the disc seems a strange cousin to the work of Pink Floyd, if that makes any sense?!).

Refusal As Attitude is a trippy, wild ride, a maturation of ideas into an excellent, cohesive release.


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