My introduction to High-Functioning Flesh was through another band, Youth Code. I’d recently seen them live and was dying for more old school EBM infused with punk rock swagger. Scouring YouTube I came across the grainy video for Self-Management and I knew I’d found exactly what I was looking for. I immediately fell in love with their album A Unity of Miseries, and I luckily didn’t have to wait long for more because their follow up, Definite Structures was just around the corner. If it was possible to wear out digital records, both of those LPs would have been on their last legs. They’ve been a constant in my go to records since they came out, and now I can thankfully add another! The end of June saw the addition of Culture Cut to the High-Functioning Flesh discography, much to my excitement.
My first glimpse into the High Functioning Flesh world. I was completely floored!
For those of you who aren’t familiar with High-Functioning Flesh, let me take a moment to bring you up to speed. There are immediate comparisons that are made to bands like Nitzer Ebb, Cabaret Voltaire, Portion Control, and Front 242, but that’s only a cursory glance at what’s on offer here. Sure, HFF are tapped into that EBM and early industrial sound…in fact, you’d be hard pressed to prove they weren’t transplanted from the past into our present. Where they set themselves apart is that swagger I was talking about earlier. Not an arrogance…no, it’s an electronic punk verve that a VERY select group of artists can claim to be privy to. I’ll be completely honest, I knew there was something different about them, but it wasn’t until I covered Atlanta’s Ian Deaton that I discovered a synth punk subset below the surface of what everyone else is doing. That’s when it clicked…the magic that HFF held…it all made sense then.
The new High-Functioning Flesh record, Culture Cut, pulls no punches and kicks into the groove immediately upon hitting play. Don’t expect to come up for air very often over these eight tracks…this is a record filled with echoing vocals, boot stomping beats, and bass lines that demand payment in body movement. And that’s what I love so much about this band in general…I can put this record on and let the hooks take me away. I can forget whatever created drama is playing out on the network news, political subterfuge, and other such nonsense, and just enjoy the music. Culture Cut is certainly an expansive album…it feels bigger and less austere than previous HFF works, and while some purists might decry that, they can get over themselves. There’s not a single slice of filler here and as soon as you finish you’re going to find yourself hitting play again (save yourself the trouble and just put it on repeat).
I cannot say enough how much I love this album. There’s a lot of dedication to the their craft, and I can assure you, High-Functioning Flesh are masters at what they’re doing. Culture Cut is available RIGHT NOW at your favorite digital outlet, and also on vinyl at Dais Records for you physical media fans. As always, Bandcamp remains my go to! So, if you’re new to High-Functioning Flesh, I expect a full report on what you think! If you’re already a fan, you get to sit back and smile as everyone else gets to discover them for the first time.