Out the swirling miasma of genres and influences in LA has reached the slimy tentacle of a new breed of industrial music. Influenced just as much by Black Flag and Death Grips (if not more so in some cases) as they are more traditional industrial like Ministry and KMFDM, there has been a caustic and acidic explosion of this new underground genre that seems to have adopted the abject nihilism and wrckless abandon of the original wave of punk, with the same distinct aesthetics.
By far the absolute and undisputed stars of the scene, the genre-breaking, gender-challenging, back-flipping rap-punks in Ho99o9 have been shocking crowds and starting small riots within venues for a number of years. Their sound is an ungodly mashup of breakneck punk with clear Bad Brains references to reverb-soaked rap and dub, shot-through with oppressive electronic bass and synths. Their live shows, however are a thing of terror and beauty. I have seen theOGM in full blue KKK-styled garb, his massive dreadlocks flying wildly or in a full wedding dress matched with combat boots, while Yeti Bones screams his best HR impression garbed in classic punk gear, a suit, or full-on white face. This is the kind of aggressive, deliberate fuck-you-to-the-existing-system that injects each one of their performances with such energy.
There is a lurking malice to all of Patriarchy’s music. A barely-contained simmering loathing and palpable danger that soaks through every moment of their 2019 record, Asking For It. With such provocative names worn so proudly, its no wonder that each song seems so laden with power and disgust. Asking For It feels like an abject refutation of such platitudes. It feels like the prey growing fangs and becoming predator. It feels like an extremely large lioness playing with its food before slashing its throat. It’s throbbing rhythms and sickly-sweet vocals underscore the glistening, wolfish canines behind it’s smile. Ready to devour you.
3Teeth is by far the most “traditional” industrial metal project on this list, as it would easily nestle right at home with bands like KMFDM or Mindless Self Indulgence. While that traditional aspect has been updated somewhat, to where they can exist in tandem with groups like Code Orange while still offering a new dimensions, the band itself doesn’t stray too far from the industrial metal formula, albeit with throat-rending screams you would have been unlikely to see back in the 90’s. To lend a visual, you know that black leather-clad goth rave that all of us seem to remember from every 90’s action movie? 3teeth are the absolutely authentic, best version of whatever the band playing that show could possibly be.
Caked in clown makeup and steeped in ruthless aggression and oppressive noise, the duo Girl Pusher manage to create some of the most terrifying atmosphere of anyone on this list. Their live sets are furious and awe-inspiring and…more than a little concerning. Every song feels like tis been ripped and/or puked out as each artist is being pulled inside-out starting with their toes. The further dissonance created by their glee in the face destruction and the overall intensity of their stage presence leaves an audience utterly shaken and drained by the end of a set, but with a sense that something Important (and slightly worrisome) has just transpired.
For a brief moment there was a particle of barely-contained chaos and rage named Kate Mo$$. The Skid-Row based group were an unholy melding of extremeties that rocketed along on rails and seemed to be ready to fly apart into shrapnel at any second. Equal parts GG Allin and Death Grips, their live shows were dangerous and rabid, but hidden behind a nihilistic exterior was surprising depth. While the band did eventually fly apart (and has been slowly hinting reunion possibilities), one of the fractures of shrapnel it left in its wake was Gnarface, a collaboration between Kate Mo$$’ charismatic frontman Gnar and N8 No Face, an underground producer/artist extraordinaire with an ever-flowing font of creative inspiration.
Luna13 have dubbed themselves “black bass metal” and a more fitting moniker would be tough to come up with. Lo-fi daemonic screams over feedback-soaked beats, frenetic and almost ritualistic-sounding rants, heavy doses of distortion. Luna13’s brand of industrial/metal is not an easy listen, but their performances show some absolutely incredible flair for showmanship. Clad in costumes, face paint, demonic horns, and more than a little fire and the occasional blood, Luna13 bring black-metals predilection for the infernal to the fore, but escalate it with a sense of attention-to-detail and commitment to their rituals that not even Mayhem can boast of.