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| 20 December 2017 | Reply

July 2017
Reviewed by Shane Pinnegar
8 ½ /10


“Rock is dead,” they sob, “no-one is doing anything new any more,” they cry, “there is no good new rock and roll,” they dismiss.

Wrong, wrong and wrong!

Take Artificial Agent, one of Detroit’s finest, who have developed a unique style that welds ‘80s bombast and Naughties gravitas to produce something very now.

Their most obvious influences come from the KISS/Motley Crue stable, and the brothers Jendza – frontman Derek and bass guitarist Brad – instil a strong theatrical element into everything the band do, from stage clothes to makeup to sexy coloured vinyl albums. Derek has Gene Simmons’ growl down pat when he chooses, but his range also shows plenty of versatility and Programmed To Destroy never gets dull or repetitive.

It would be wrong to ever write these cats off as hair metal wannabees – there’s a strong flavour of the ‘00s in the mix as well, a whiff of Velvet Revolver here, or a downtuned shadow of Queens Of The Stone Age as drummer Karl Grafton takes no prisoners, pounding away relentlessly, and guitarist Mike Elgert plays like a demon raised on every shade of hard edged rock and roll from birth.

Having become almost ubiquitous around Detroit in recent years, scoring support slots left, right and centre, Artificial Agent put that experience to good use on Programmed To Destroy.

It’s an album with killer riffs, great melodies and songs, and a bumper crop of rawk n’ roll, especially on Devil In The White Dress, the stadium-ready Attention Whore, the slower I’d Rather Be Blind, and closer Tonight You’re A Killer.

Category: CD Reviews

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Editor, 100% ROCK MAGAZINE

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