The Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower
Love in the Fascist Brothel


here seemed like a time when the possibilities were open to The Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower to become one of the most exciting bands in the world. Despite being paired up with bands like Q And Not U, The Locust, and The Ex, the group seemed to both redefine the meaning of hardcore, but to never lose sight of the almighty rhythm track. With a wild and uncompromising jazz-inflected hardcore sound, the group seemed to carry on the promise of other groups that stretched the limits of hardcore. Love in the Fascist Brothel is not the culmination of this sound, although it is a continuation of the group’s delayed promise that typified the flawed, yet awesome in places, Dissertation, Honey.

Whereas the that previous album suffered in places from the problem of synthesis, sometimes sacrificing cohesiveness for a more diverse sound. That problem has been solved on Love in the Fascist Brothel. The group’s never seems to be taking time out for an instrument, waiting for it to make its presence known and sound noted. But, as you might imagine, other problems emerge. A tight 24-minute effort, the group’s second LP suffers from this cohesiveness by leaving the innovation at the door.

Instead of relying on breakneck tempo shifts and interludes that only make sense upon repeated listens, the group has seemingly toed the line of to a certain hardcore sound that tips its hat to groups like The Contortions (Brandon Welchez’s saxophone sounds more and more like James Chance’s than ever here) and The Blood Brothers (the whole thing could be described as the type of stylized hardcore that these guys have pioneered).

Which isn’t to say it’s bad. There are moments of true revelation, such as the drum breakdown at the end of “Exile on Vain Street,” that leads directly into the next song, the entirety of “Vulture Kontrol,” or the inspiring classic-rocked out ending to “Lawnmower Love.” Also of note is the production, which is expertly handled by Rafter Roberts, who allows each member of the group to sound as crisp and clear, a problem that sometimes reared its head on Dissertation, Honey.

It’s just that aside from these brief moments nothing here seems unexpected or very interesting. The group has completed the integration of the various genres that they once explored bravely into a sanitized package that sounds like rote hardcore. Sure, it goes down pretty easy, but it’s rare that anyone is coming back for second helpings.

Reviewed by: Michael Bennett

Reviewed on: 2005-02-15

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