By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Florene's Homemade Extacy may be a dark, dense listen filled with savage industrial beats, ominous icy synths and echoing primal-scream vocals, but the album is exactly the intense, mind-blowing debut one hopes to see from a experimental electronic band known for its raw, energetic live shows. And it's a full-length debut that strikes with a surety and purpose only hinted at on the act's half-dozen or so self-released singles, EPs and live recordings.
In the run-up to the album's release, Florene's Aaron Mollet and Gavin Guthrie promised a "defining work," and the pair delivered just that with a 10-song debut released on Sacramento-based indie label Waaga Records. But what exactly is so "defining" about Homemade Extacy?
Well, the album finds Florene moving further away from the spacier, ambient electronic jams of the act's past, while embracing a darker, deeper, more aggressive industrial electronic sound. Think Wax Trax! Records catalog circa the late '80s or early '90s, minus all the dialog samples, but with more of that modern glossy electro sound added to buff out the sharp industrial edges. Though the album has a few standout tracks ("Street Caring" and "Deal With It"), Homemade Extacy is a solid, cohesive listen from the bent beats and blips of the opening title track to the sinister synths and echoing drums of album closer "Space Cadets."
The disc sends a powerful message, if one without any concrete verbiage. And really, a specific message is all that this disc is missing.