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Filament 38 

Unstable (Negative Gain Productions)

Initially, it seems counterintuitive to dance to the sound of women and children being mowed down by machine-gun fire. But on "Blood," from their sophomore LP, Unstable, the members of Filament 38 turn violent chaos into a pulsating, post-apocalyptic rave-up. To strip death of emotion is their way of showing how disaffected the masses have become -- themselves included.

Filament 38's cold, steely throb apes this detachment. Frontman Ash, who writes most of Filament's songs, sings in an unwavering, stentorian growl, his bloodless voice keeping listeners at arm's length. Slashing keyboards and a palpitating beat propel the band through chilly dance-floor workouts ("Interface") and martial soundscapes ("Relapse"). Ash sings of losing faith, losing hope, and eventually losing his life. There's no happy ending here, though Ash can smile about this: With Unstable, Filament 38 has become Cleveland's most listenable bunch of depressives.

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More by Jason Bracelin

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