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Artist: The Pain Machinery
Title: Surveillance Culture
Genre: EBM / New Beat / Acid House
Release Date: 12th June 2011
Label: Complete Control Productions

Album Review

It’s not a long time ago that I was reviewing ‘Auto Surveillance’ EP of THE PAIN MACHINERY, it was a single that left me with mixed feelings due to the prevalence of the remixes in it. But now they have returned with their sixth album and their new directions are becoming clearer. In ‘Surveillance Culture’, they have reduced the complicity of their sound to a much more “clear” level, a level which works perfectly not only in the danceable aspect of the songs but much more importantly for the conveyance of the message, by maximising the impact of their music. They still have this raw sound, based in the futurism of the 80’s mixed with industrial, minimal and acid house elements. Yet, in this album the band has managed to have the overall control of every aspect of their music, their sound is more mature and for the matter of fact distilled.

The concept of the album has to do with the surveillance culture which has dominated the Western world. One might wonder which the more realistic scenario is - a society like the one described by Orwell in 1984 which monitors everything or the self-imposed exposure of all the personal details on social networks where the data belong to some companies? And there’s something else as well. The concept of the “virtual plastic surgery” as the band describes so succinctly, where the people are saying and posing as the others expect them to do or say. Not in real terms but in virtual ones. He who doesn’t get that I guess has never had (let’s say) a Facebook account. After a while you get the feeling that the whole thing is a Baywatch Buddhist monastery where everyone is expecting his beatification. These are the issues, among some others which the band explores in this CD.

If you don’t pay much attention to the lyrics, surely you can find many songs that will make you dance. But, somehow, this parameter reduces the concept of the album and its importance. THE PAIN MACHINERY consists of artists above entertainers and they have proved that. This is a brilliant album.


01. Shine – 4.27
02. Critical State – 3.45
03. Never – 3.45
04. Hard Cash – 2.50
06. Acid Breakdown – 3.46
06. The Grudge – 3.04
07. The End Game – 1.49
08. Grinder – 3.18
09. Hell – 4.58
10. Armed! – 3.51
11. Surrender – 4.26
12. Hate Me Now – 3.48
13. Playground – 3.29
14. Moving Walls – 4.40


Anders Karlsson - Machinery
Jonas Hedberg – Vocals

Websites /

Cover Picture



Music: 10
Sound: 10
Total: 10 / 10

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