Gender by Entertainment
Listening to "Gender" is like going to a black-tie event with your beautiful actress-model girlfriend, being told by some friends and your manager that this band you absolutely have to hear if you haven't already is playing, having your coat taken for you before you remember to move your wallet from the front pocket where there's always the chance it might fall out like it does sometimes in cabs, especially since it doesn't even take much jostling to make anything fall out of that pocket, especially your wallet, but you can't do anything but worry about it now because your agent drags you thru room after room thru throngs of people, some of whom recognize you and try to get your attention but it's too late because now you're in the ballroom and here they are on this bandstand surrounded by really-well dressed people who you now notice are all wearing costumes even though no one told you this was a costume party and when you ask your manager about it you can't hear his answer, can't hear why he forgot to mention the costume thing or why for example it wasn't mentioned on the invitation about costumes, and your actress-model girlfriend is posing in a party mask for an impromptu picture taken by an inscrutable figure wearing what appears to be very expensive tatters whose sweat has mingled with make-up and the hor dourves you never saw being served and you immediately regret your decision to pull her mask when everyone near you reaches for your face and you're sure they know it's your face and try to focus on this great band whose drums sound like cannons and whose guitar sounds like desperate attempts to both heal multiple lacerations and to inflict deep cuts upon one's self and yet you nod and nod and nod and agree that yes this must be true, this is how that one tune goes, yes but now you're dizzy because it's too hot in the ballroom and you are not surrounded by anyone you know anymore, maybe they were taken off, maybe they were kidnapped, who knows, and the vocals you try to wrap your head around only remind you that you're on your own and that before you even got dressed for this shindig they were playing, that before you even woke up this morning, they were playing, that before you were born mon ami they were playing this most beautiful discord, this patient better noise. And you say to yourself, Christ this shit is good even though it may have been engineered to destroy you. "The work that was left behind all those parties ago came back with a vengeance in Entertainment" you'd write if you ever survived this thing, "they brought it back to relevance" you'd say, but your actress-model girlfriend whispers in your ear to just shut the fuck up and listen. So you do. And it's amazing. -Jacob Kline.
MP3 Sample: Flesh!
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"Confusion Of Senses" video
"Entertainment is a band from Athens, Georgia United States and they have been on the scene for some decades, hidden from the light exposure by crawling from one underground club to another almost anonymously and just sporadically delivering an album or an EP to corroborate their existence. Their aim is Death Rock with the perspective from the forefathers of the genre; so you'll get the bouquet from some of the crude Bauhaus experimentalism, the morbid cadence from Christian Death's Rozz Williams era and the psychedelic bleakness from early PIL, a pinch of the catchy Play Dead's bass & drum interplay amongst a whole bunch of other dynamic subterfuges added by the quartet. A carnal angst and most defined death wish impregnate the whole atmosphere of the album, a detail clearly expressed by the suggestive cover, you'll survive their nightmare, will your mind do the same?
"Gender" is an album that demands certain mood for you to bear it, otherways you'll get flattened by its heaviness and perhaps it will make you reluctant to take the ride. Heavy and morose, that's all about it, a condition that is expressed by the music, the rhythm and the atmosphere it does expand during its relatively short timeline, 36 minutes of a heartless descent into the miasma of monolithic bass lines with lots of bleak guitar chords drenched in the dismal perversity of an arrhythmic funeral march and covered with some pale synth lines that look as if were taken from a zombie movie. A veil of misery and despair slowly takes hold with each subsequent track and keeps its gelid grasp into the dissonant call of the grave upon the listener's shoulder. Entertainment speculate a bit with their assertions on their monolithic Death Rock conception, taking time to vary the structure with savage dissonance on the rhythms, making abrupt cuts and collapsing rhythmic changes that ultimately seems like the drummer is experiencing a seizure. These intentional arrhythmias augments the vertigo from the loathing vocals by Trey Ehart and creates a vaccuum to twisted synths along with virulent bass lines. In "A seduction walks" things go wild, the voice is subdued behind the procession of riffs and the pulse from the bass and drums and lots of echo are spilled upon it to create this drugged like tone, this demented ambience of carnivore dementia. "Flesh" is a superb track to end it all, with its bell like resonance delivered by the synths behind the strong drum and the pounding bass lines with a Robert Smith-esque vocal flirt on top, a kicking finale.
After a while it results obvious that the monolithic structure chosen to express this catacomb like sound for Death Rock is unable to give anything else but its relentless mix of succulent bass lines vs epileptic drum sets and the guitar phantasmagorias drawn by the guitar. The synth additions and the smart turns from echo effects, distortions and acidic feedback cannot let it escape the definitive omen from its own repetition. The guitar section managed by Chisolm Thompson and Trey Erhart focuses way to much to resemble Rozz williams and at times the album reflects way too much the ghost from "Only theatre of pain", some tracks sound almost like unreleased fragments from "Romeo's distress". Aside from that, the album truly finds the black hearted escense from Death rock without subterfuges or sweeteners and faithfully delivers the noble grace from its grave call." - Jack The Ripper (Heathen Harvest blog)
Deathrock out of Athens, GA, where (it's been said) there is no Deathrock scene...throughout Entertainment's first full-length album, "Gender", you can feel the anguished isolation of intense creativity as it is born into darkness and quickly outgrows its room. Entertainment's music twists in and around, densely packing the sounds of a lifetime of songs into one gorgeous track after another.
'Romance In A Rain' begins with deep drums that march unstoppably toward you, bass as broad and rocky as the ground under your feet, guitar sending arrows into the clouds to pierce their rain-bloated skins, and vocals like an irrepressible cry. 'Swing Movements' howls, a creature crawling through haunted woods, energized dreariness. "We shall be happy, we shall be happy again," sings Trey Ehert. "Come on, smile, it's complete again." And you believe him. 'A Seduction Walks' grooves along, pulling you irresistibly onward. If your head, your neck, your body, your hips aren't moving by the time Entertainment gets to the bridge of this one, you are in a coma. This song is lust made melodic. Synth and bass, discord and syncopation mark 'Patroness', a glorification of desire and mockery, of want and rejection.
It's "horrible faces" make feeling repulsed feel good. 'The New Joys' then redefines happiness. It's a joyful song, or maybe a song that simply enjoys being: a playful bass line bouncing, guitar touching down to have a go, and again the mark of carefully placed musical discordancy. It might have been a cacophony on someone else's hands; in Entertainment's it is viscerally pleasing.
In 'The Nervous Talk', monotone vocals and a repeated anxious guitar strum are set against ceaseless tribal drums. The sense of dread is palpable and unrelenting, building to an explosion of sound you will feel in every nerve ending. 'Confusion Of Senses' is a stand-out track, the most catchy and accessible on the album. It is a pop song's skin turned inside out, all blood vessels and meat. It is graveyard synth, pounding drum, rolling bass, shimmering guitar, and snaking vocals, with a chorus that pries your own mouth open and makes you sing along.
The last track, 'Flesh!', brings agony to exquisitely pleasurable heights. Bari Donovan beats the drums passionately enough to break sticks and the entire song builds rapidly to an ending so intense that even Ehart is lifted beyond words, expelling a pair of "Whoo!"s at the climax.
Listen to "Gender" with the volume turned LOUD - it is mixed with such nuance and performed with so many textured layers that you don't want to miss a single note, effect, or breath. "I put a lot of heart and soul into that album," says Ehart, "and we've been told it's a creeper that gets better with each listen." This is the genre at its finest, all the soul and passion of deathrock, all the inventiveness and distinguishing elements of real talent. It is in your face. It is out of its room and growing too big for anything to contain it. Their new album is due for release this year - where will Entertainment take us next? - Alethea Carr / Carpe Nocturne Magazine