As racist, woman-hating fantasy writer Vox Day (aka Theodore Beale) likes to remind people, he was kind of a big deal in the industrial dance music scene back in the day, with three Billboard Club Hits to his name.
Well, sort of. Beale — he wasn’t known as Vox back then — was briefly a member of a largely forgotten industrial dance group called Psykosonik in the early nineties.
Now, I was listening to a lot of industrial dance music back in those days, and was particularly enamored of the label (Wax Trax!) that Psykosonik was on. Yet somehow I never noticed them.
Listening to their first album today — the one that Beale was involved in — I can see why. Musically, they’re a peppy, if highly derivative, mix of industrial and rave, at times sounding a bit like the Shamen or Pop Will Eat Itself or even, unbelievably, EMF.
The trouble comes when the group’s vocalist opens his mouth to sing or, even worse, to rap some of the most cringeworthy lyrics I’ve encountered since I listened to this. The bassy “rapping” in their song “Acid Hammer” is on a par with the rapping in Aqua’s “Barbie Girl,” except that Aqua was in on the joke, and Psykosonik clearly wasn’t.
And that’s where Mr. Beale comes in, because a lot of these very very serious, very very terrible lyrics are his. Psykosonik seems to have been built largely around two guys — Paul Sebastien (vocals, lyrics, music) and Daniel Lenz (music). Beale, a member for only two years, is credited by Wikipedia as being responsible for “composition, lyrics.”
So let’s take a look at some of them, shall we? The lyrics below, which I found on Lyrics Wikia, are excerpted from songs he’s credited with co-writing; click on the titles to see more.
Fractals fusing, brain abusing
Drink your smart drug, find illusion
Ride the air on an angel’s dare
Mandlebrots fly everywhere
Illusion the solution
You will find your absolution
Within silicon, in silicon, in me
Mondo rave, magnetic wave
Cyberbaby, my love slave
New world networked connectivity
Down to the ground, down to the ground
Social entropy is reigning today
Burn it down, burn it down, burn it down, down to the ground
A generation’s coming your way
Feel your heart explode with lust
Vacationers, this one’s a must
If you choose to take this drug
You will feel your libido erupt ….
If you choose to lick my brain
Use your tongue to taste the same
Feel the acid reign
Servitude is in the mind, a death in life
Don’t be confused by the terms of Left and Right
Statism is statism, by any name the same
Apathy is suicide and we will bear the blame …
Huge berserk rebel warthog error
Zeroboys unleash domestic terror
Jack it in and burn the data
Violence a religion they can relate to
Now, it’s not completely clear from the scanty info I’ve found if Beale wrote all of these lyrics by himself — Wikipedia also lists Sebastien as being responsible for lyrics — but quite a few of them have the stink of Beale about them. I mean, “social entropy,” “statism is statism?”
Oh, and that bizarre bit about the “huge berserk rebel warthog?” That may be Beale’s only bit of cleverness. After puzzling over it a bit, and listening to that part of the song over and over to make sure that was really what was being said, I put the phrase into Google and discovered that it’s an anagram for George Herbert Walker Bush.
If you want to listen to any of these songs — and really, they’re not bad, if you can manage to ignore the awful lyrics — you can find the whole album here.
And here’s the video for their single “Welcome to My Mind,” which features Mr. Beale’s rotating head.