Ego Likeness – East
Label: Self Release
Release Date: July 2012
Review By: Grant V. Ziegler
After three long years since North, Ego Likeness is set to release their newest EP East. This EP will complete the musical compass they started back in 2007 when they released South. After South, they released West in 2008 and North in 2009. Singer/songwriter Donna Lynch and multiinstrumentalist/programmer Steven Archer, who arguably make up the prettiest married couple in industrial music, took a little time off but made the wait worth it with East.
I first saw Ego Likeness in 2005 with the Cruxshadows at a place called Lakewood Bar and Grill—a cowboy bar in Dallas. The stage was barely big enough to support Lynch and Archer and there was a minimal amount of equipment. But after that, I was hooked on their sound and from that point forward I could always rely on Ego Likeness to come out with a quality product that has their stamp on it without being too repetitive. East has that signature stamp plus some.
I’ll get the bad news out of the way first, since there isn’t much of it. I do not enjoy the opening track “-geist.” It’s the only weak track on the EP in my opinion. It doesn’t ever seem to go anywhere and doesn’t capture me like the other tracks do.
However, the other two brand new songs bring out the hippie dancer in me. “Persona Non Grata” encompasses that Ego Likeness texture that’s fun to touch, taste, smell and especially hear. It embodies the elements for which Ego Likeness is enjoyed. The drums have an Eastern sound and Lynch’s voice puts soul into the soulless. “Tea in the Sahara” follows and although it’s a cover, it puts the Police version to shame (suck it, Sting). If this version were to be bottled and sold, its label would read “pure serenity.” It’s a great song to cuddle and fall asleep to.
That wraps up the new tracks but this EP is longer than most and has seven remixes. What I appreciate about East is that the remixes don’t all come from one album. Most EPs have six remixes of the same song and you get burnt out on it so quickly. East explores different eras of the Ego Likeness discography and conjures up good memories with refreshed vigor.
Starting out is “The Devils in the Chemicals Sin Mix” by Angelspit. This turned out to be an unexpectedly good fusion. The variances in the two band’s styles shouldn’t mesh but they do. Angelspit’s signature bounce can be heard throughout the remix and adds pep to an already solid track. I hope to hear more collaborations from these two. Call it Egospit, that would be fun.
Following that is “Inferno” mixed by Komor Kommando. This is probably my favorite remix because it sounds like Lynch is singing on an Icon of Coil track. Andy Laplegua would be jealous as these two seem to go hand-in-hand. This version should end up in a lot of DJs playlists soon.
From this point forward, many different sub-genres are covered by the remixes giving fans a little taste of all the things they love to hear in the underground night clubs. The Dark Clan offers up a synth-pop version of “I’m Not Mary Anne” while ThouShaltNot puts an ‘80s Goth spin on “Severine.” Next is another remix of “Devils in the Chemicals” by Terrorfakt who bludgeon the virgin-soft texture of Ego Likeness’ style with their repetitive noise element. This is another unusual blend but it works anyway.
To round out East, Bella Morte gives ”Inferno” a grinding yet sexy demeanor. And finally, Rick Burnett does an acoustic guitar and synth rendition of “Severine.” Both tracks defy the odds and prove that industrial music can intermingle with almost anything.
East is available at EgoLikeness.com and considering its limited quantity, one would be wise to jump on this EP quickly. I’m anxious to see what’s next from the Baltimore, Maryland duo Ego Likeness.
2. Persona Non Grata
3. Tea in the Sahara
4. The Devil’s in the Chemicals (Sin mix by Angelspit)
5. Inferno (Hotter than Hell remix by Komor Kommando)
6. I’m not Maryanne (Mokmi remix by The Dark Clan)
7. Severine (Floodland remix by ThouShaltNot)
8. The Devil’s in the Chemicals (remix by Terrorfakt)
9. Inferno (Donna the Dead remix by Bella Morte)
10. Severine (RB mix by Rick Burnett)