Artificial Dissemination‘s second release and first full-length, Take Us To Your Leader, is punk-as-fuck. In other words, it’s fast, vulgar, and mostly unoriginal. Its thirteen tracks essentially all sound the same but, thankfully, although this fact also contributes to the problem, they’re all short. In some ways I admire most punk bands’ reluctance to change. They see themselves as part of a tradition bigger than they are, and find comfort in participating in something that has outlasted its pioneers and will likely outlast its current contributors as well.
Punk’s simplistic legacy isn’t the only one to which Take Us To Your Leader pays homage. There’s a healthy dose of old-school metal spread throughout its thirteen tracks. Thankfully, as if to balance out the seriousness of their punk-rock attitude, the metal influences seem to be deliberately schlocky and fun.
For a simple guitar, drums, and vocals duo, Artificial Dissemination know how to pack a punch. The speed and aggression on Take Us To Your Leader are relentless, and I imagine achieving this is easier because each member has only one other person to worry about keeping pace with. As a result, their technical prowess is impressive, despite the sloppy and wild impression these songs ultimately leave the listener with.
This slovenly attitude is brought to the table by the band’s rough and powerful vocals. Drummer and singer Jamie Problem’s voice reminds me of Lemmy of Motorhead. His cadence is smooth, somewhere between speaking and singing; but with the volume turned up and a gravelly attitude, it comes off as nothing more than simple yelling. Artificial Dissemination has nothing nice to say, and they’re so caught up in the emotion of their arguments that being loud about it is inevitable. Guitarist Shawna Heist’s voice is in a considerably higher register, but rather than capitalize on the contrast of one male and one female voice, she leans towards something more androgynous. On the band’s Facebook page, her vocal contributions are billed as “yelling backups” and as hard as it is to admit as a writer, that really does describe it best.
Like most bursts of aggression, Take Us To Your Leader ends abruptly and with little satisfaction. Experiencing sudden silence after so much noise is almost as jarring as the noise itself, and while the album isn’t particularly interesting or innovative, this sudden stop is the only real weakness I’d attribute to it. Although, I’m sure that’s the point. Artificial Dissemination is determined to make it crystal clear how little of a fuck they give about pretty much anything other than the music they create so passionately, that it’s not surprising the album ends with the strangely subtle message of, “Fuck you, we’re done. What else do you want?”
Written by Brian Charles Clarke
*edited by Kate Erickson