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It’s always interesting to hear about artists who go off to make music that’s completely different from what most people have heard them play. Probably the most notable example of this is Slipknot’s Sid Wilson, but considering his role in the band, it’s not much of a surprise that he would have a separate electronic project. Now, a new band has come forward that features some pretty interesting members: Rage Against the Machine’s own bassist Tim Commerford and garage rock veteran, Jordan Tarlow. In your head, try and picture the music that these two might make together. Is it blues rock? Some rage-style garage punk? some post-punk maybe? No matter what you had in mind, you probably couldn’t predict this:

That’s right, it’s electro-rock. If you saw that one coming, then pat yourself on the back because that was not an easy one to predict.

Whatever your opinions on more electronic and beat-centric music may be, this is definitely an album that you should check out. The sound seems to be heavily influenced by both of the artists past work, and while the electronic sound is pretty much the focal point here, there is a lot of use of live instrumentation as well. Obviously, Commerford brings his bass into the mix, but there’s also live drums on a lot of the tracks (most notably Mountain Lion), along with a few guitar choruses laid in at times. There are vocals as well, although they can fall flat at times, coming off as a bit too clean in contrast to the really raw, slightly distorted basslines (on TFU for example). The vocals also sound like their dialed up a bit too high, drowning out some of the instrumentation. At its best, however, the vocals are heavily edited, with tracks like Medication Nation, which sound more cohesive with the whole electronic sound.

Thematically, the album has some pretty distinct ideas that it tosses around. With an album title like #SteroidsOrHeroin, songs titled Medication Nation, and the music video for Mountain Lion, which features Commerford shooting up and skateboarding around. The album is about drug use, there’s no question about that, but exactly what the band is trying to say about drug use is unclear. Luckily, talking to Loudwire, Commerford was able to clear up the overall message behind the album:

“At the end of the day, the message that we’re trying to get across with this journey that this guy who we call ’S.W.I.M.’ who is sort of our superhero that we have, that ties everything together, he’s on a journey. It’s entertaining, hopefully, and at the end of the video the real message comes to light. And that is, don’t be distracted by doping in sports and don’t think that doping in sports is actually important enough for presidents to talk about. It’s really not.”

“What’s really important is something like heroin — we’re over there in Afghanistan funding drug lords to grow poppies and now heroin is on the rise here in America on the highest level ever killing people here, incarcerating people here. To me, that’s a real issue. That leads to the name #SteroidsOrHeroin. What’s more important?”

So, there you have it. Definitely check out the album if you have the time, as it’s definitely worth a listen or two.