Saturday, February 26, 2011

Patient Zero - Screen Saviour : A Great Southern Stand Review by Steve Parker

Screen Saviour is the soon-to-be latest release from British industrial musician 'Patient Zero', and my first response is:


Zero has always been prolific and professional, but this latest release shows a real growth in the skills and feel of the artist which result in an album universally superior to all previous releases.
Though the album for the most part is flavoured by a recent emotional break down, something for everyone can be found in this varied and entertaining release.
For those of us who want a good laugh, I can suggest critical stop, which has perhaps the best ending for a song I have ever heard.
For those who want a beautiful instrumental ballad, Tanz Mit Ubernachtung is the place to go.
And for those who want an honest an uncompramising view of a soul in the process of dissintergration I can suggest the entirety of the rest of the album.
I have not heard a more open and up front, savagely honest introspective tour of a writers psyche since The Who's 1973 release, Quadrophenia. The writer pulls no punches and bars no gates for his listeners, and we appreciate every opened door.

A wonderful album, well worth a listen.

-Steve Parker


Waiting for a funeral: Lyrically powerful and evocative, this song is an excellent introduction to the feel of this new album. Prepare yourselves, it seems to say, this is going to be a dark journey!

Another option: A harsh jolt, dragging the listener out of the dark reverie of track one. It's central plea however, is no less powerful for that and this chaotic track reflects a soul in turmoil almost scarily well. It's not hard to imagine a dance floor filled with dissociated youth surging to the beat of a musician producing with a feel they understand all too well.

Screen Saviour: The title track of the album. A heavy bestial introduction makes way for a beautifully crafted melody in this third track, and despite fitting nicely into the dark theme of this album, seems built on a foundation of hope for a better future within the confines of the writers vision. A yearning for a dystopian cybernetic future which may seem bleak to some, but to others an alternate nirvana where the confines of emotion no longer hold sway over our hearts

Paragon: The bouncing, dancy feel of this track came as somewhat a surprise in track four, but may be indicative of the continuing maturation of Patient Zero as a momentary respite from unyielding darkness felt very well timed indeed. But beware! This track has hidden assaults, lashing and slicing with precision and pain. A beautifully crafted track of mass destruction.

Absurdity: Loud, savage, and angry. Patient Zero decided our break had been long enough and throws us headlong into the core of his pain and disappointment at the failings of our human frailties.

Democracy/Philosophy: From humans to humanity, track six exposes the weaknesses of, you guessed it: democracy Or more specifically, democratic capitalism, and our seemingly irreparable problem with confusing democracy for a philosophy, rather than a simple process of selection.

Mirror: Self loathing drips from every word in this beautifully crafted track. We are invited into the very heart of the writer with no truths occluded or areas refused as he tries in vain to figure why a lover left. Savage, uncompromising and melancholy in content if not in feel. This may be a good candidate for hit single for this album.

Princess: A thumping bass beat backs this solid track, packed to the brim with all the bitterness of the recently dumped. Honest in it's darkness, this track makes no bones about the personal evils unleashed after a painful separation.

Take: Wild, loud and desperate, track nine is a slap in the face of spiritual vampires the world over. Ever had someone who just took everything and gave nothing back? Play this track and you will enter the brotherhood of pain. Just make sure there are no weapons nearby.

I am everything: We all know this feeling. Track 10 continues the uncompromising introspection with a feeling we know all too well: After the fall, comes the pride. Self deification forms guards and barriers immune to the assaults of the outside world, but it is as always mixed with the bitter taint of self doubt and loathing. A contradictory song evoking the idea of an intensely localised and isolated omnipresence.

Mercurio: The eyes of the storm, this is an expertly crafted suicide song. With a surprising softness the writer attempts to bid farewell to his love, remembering the bittersweet moments of an ended passion.

Modern Noise: The writers cup is full, and yet the world continues it's never ending stream: it's all getting a bit too much for the writer. Spitting venom at modern society and it's continual self corruption.

Violent Ride: A throwback to older Patient Zero tracks, the writer updates some of his older sounds with his new fury. For loyal listeners it's a bit of Patient retro, for new listeners a look back into where he has come from.

More than you: With the first sounds this song evokes what you are sure is going to be a dark and twisted ride through the writers mind, and it doesn't disappoint. Filled with self mutilation, suicidal thoughts and self loathing, 'I loved you more than you loved me" is the central cry.

Suffragette: This track evoked painful longings and a feeling of deep betrayal. The listener gets the feeling of being played with, discarded for no good reason by someone who feels the relationship far less deeply than the writer. It's never easy to hear a grown man pleading, but as painful as it is to listen to, it must have been agony to write.

Tanz Mit Ubernachtung: A wonderfully crafted instrumental track, 'dancing with the Over night" is a truly beautiful piece, worthy of any heavily emotional film score. It seems filled with not only a resignation, but a sort of growth, and almost a hope for a new future and a better tomorrow.

Necromantic: Track 17 asks the question, "is God dead?" and goes on to explore the ramifications of the answer. An obvious core of piety, (though probably long lapsed), fills this track, along with a terror and dispossession known only to those who truly believe, and then lose that belief, in a deity.

Headroom: Welcome Sir or Madame, to track 18, and how would you like your insanity served today? The cook has whipped us up a treat, and we are sure you'll enjoy your stay in the mad world of Max Headroom as visited by Patient Zero.

Pure Decking: Modern day hackers as well as old school fans of Shadowrun and Cyberpunk will know full well the theme of this song. The thrill of hacking firewalls, bypassing security and warping files, this track may be the anthem of a new generation of cyber thrill seekers.

Critical Stop: If the writer had tried to write a more universally relatable song, he couldn't. DAMNED COMPUTERS!

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