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| 30 December 2022 | Reply

Label: Streamline Records

Release Date: October 7, 2022

Rating: 100%

Reviewer: Todd “Toddstar” Jolicoeur

Closing out the 2022 review year, I am capping it off with as great release from Detroit, MI rockers Artificial Agent.  There has been mutual love between the band and 100% Rock for some time now, but it stems from the fact that these guys churn out great rock release after release.  Disc opener and title track “Pop Culture Disruptor” is a catchy rocker that has a dirty club feel and anthemic streak that runs through it from the opening note to the final lick that reverberates from the speakers.  The vocals are tight, the bottom end tight and heavy, and the fret work is some of the best we have heard from the foursome.  “Down And Out” comes at you with a chunky bottom end laced by bassist Brad Jendza and the song takes on a sleazy rock sweetness as frontman Derek Jendza’s vocals help move the track overtop the guitars, drums, and bass lines.  This has a grungy rock vibe that won’t shake loose.  “Headed For Disaster” is a cool track that has different vibes hitting you at different times adding to the songs overall feel.  The chugging riff from guitarist Mike Elgert is the star here, but perfectly supported by the drums and bass while the vocals twist in the musical wind.  The heavier vocal and thumping bottom end keep the track grounded while the guitars shift gears during the songs transition points.  “Do Or Die” unfolds softly, but don’t be fooled… this one is all Artificial Agent and it rocks.  The drums and bass from Crafton and Brad respectively slink along in the underbelly of the track while the guitars and vocals swirl in the mix driving the tune.  While dialed back, there is still a bit of attitude coiled into the vocals that dance across the song.

“Off The Deep End” is a great garage rocker that has been polished and given a cool blast of modern rock that is woven into the poppier bridges and breakdowns.  The drumming from Karl Crafton has some cool fills and transitions that build the song between verse, chorus, and bridge.  Be sure to check out the fuzzed guitar solo that morphs to a powerhouse piece that joins the two ends of the tune.  “No One Lies To Me” is one of my favorite tracks on the disc as it gives us a slightly different glimpse and listen to Jendza’s vocals, which pair up perfectly against the guitars on the song.  The solo is simple and intricate at the same time adding depth to the bridge, but again the different textures of vocals really drive this one home. “Don’t Breathe” has a killer bass groove that opens the song along with the drums and then gets a treatment of vocals and guitars layered across it giving the track different energy and feel depending on what 10 second span you focus on through its short 2:36 sequence as Jendza reminds you it’s ‘lights out…’  “Tight Rope” is another track the guys crafted that swirls their love of 80’s rock with the Detroit garage sound and the modern rock radio sound.  The lead vocals sit well against the constructed background vocals that decorate the songs landscape.  The guitar work is a twist of many different influences, but all Elgert.  This disc is hands down the most sonically accessible release from the band, showing growth and maturity as well as their continued love for what they do.  Well done guys… can’t wait to see this stuff live upon my return to Detroit later in the spring.

Tracklisting: Pop Culture Disruptor – Down And Out – Off The Deep End – Headed For Disaster – No One Lies To Me – Do Or Die – Don’t Breathe – Tight Rope







Category: CD Reviews

About the Author ()

ToddStar - that's me... just a rocking accountant who had dreams of being a rock star. I get to do the next best thing to rocking the globe - I get to take pictures of the lucky ones that do. I love to shoot all genres of music and different types of performers. If it is related to music, I love to photograph it. I get to shoot and hang with not only some of my friends and idols, but some of the coolest people around today.

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