Elevate Difference

The New Divine

Let's just get this one thing out of the way right now, shall we? It's safe to say that if you're not of the goth/industrial/EBM/metal persuasion, then The New Divine, from Austin, TX foursome Lust Murder bOX (LMb), will not be your bag. These twelve tunes are for the seasoned spooky aficionado. But if you're adventurous enough, give it a go. It'll be worth it.

The group, featuring band members Nox, Vaughn, Erik, and Travis, are a mainstay of Austin's Sixth Street music scene. With lyrics like “A perfect model of distress/Paranoia with a bit of bliss” and “Your kiss detonates on my lips/A violent spark between us,” “Emotion To Kill” exemplifies not only the LMb oeuvre but also serves as a fine example of the genre. There's even a loving revved-up cover version of “The Baby Screams,” a Cure song from the 1985 album The Head on the Door.

As with the finest of their ilk, Lust Murder bOX displays a wicked sense of humor. “Crash Black” is a snarky indictment of generic music fans. It's a barrage of zingers fired against those shallow listeners who hop from one bandwagon to another in search of the hot new thing. Personal favorites include “This is the chorus/Sing along like you love us” and “With our white belts/And all our pain/We'll make millions/With more of the same.” It's so bitchy-good, it conjures up Mindless Self-Indulgence.

There is an obvious eschatological fixation here, as well. More than one song speaks—in sometimes graphic detail—to what might happen at the end of the world; “Throttle” and “Artifact” are the finest examples. “Genesis,” growling with all the vengeance of a scorned Old Testament God, references the album title. Yet while cryptic pseudo-metaphysical imagery hints at a Gnostic sensibility, we soon that's not really part of the musical equation.

Overall, this is a band whose music squirms under the atmospheric weight of a neurotic eroticism. Reminiscent of groups like Curve and Garbage, but more grinding, these songs are practically swollen with angry sex, power dynamics, and violent ideations; “Coercion” sums it up best. This blatant BDSM ballad (“He uses my body to feel his flesh/The closer he gets the more I trust”) foists itself upon the listener with a twisted ferocity.

It's not easy listening and it's most definitely not for vanilla ears, but then again, nothing from Lust Murder bOX is.

Written by: M. Brianna Stallings, February 2nd 2010