Review: Modern Technology ‘Service Provider’

Modern Technology are an East London two-piece consisting of Chris Clarke on bass/vocals and Owen Gildersleeve on drums. They formed ‘through a shared frustration of our post-truth society and this time of political unrest’. Service Provider is the band’s debut album following 2019s Self-Titled debut EP as well as the live Exploding Head Sessions album (also from 2019).

Modern Technology 'Service Provider'

Service Provider was recorded and mixed by Wayne Adams at Bear Bites Horse and even more excitingly mastered by the legendary James Plotkin (OLD, Kharnate, Phantomsmasher). It will be released jointly via Human Worth (the first physical release for this newly formed charitable label) and Cruel Nature Records. A portion of the proceeds will be going to The Trussell Trust and Black Minds Matter, this is clearly a band with a degree of social conscience.

Being a fan of the doom/stoner genre I have grown a little weary of artwork featuring busty ladies, wizards and reefers. It’s refreshing therefore to have artwork (as designed by Owen Gildersleeve) that’s a little punchier and stripped down. A Punk ascetic if you will, reminding me of the cut and paste design of Jamie Reid’s cover for Never Mind The Bollocks, Here’s The Sex Pistols. The album starts with the track Therapy and some solid drumming before the hoarse vocals kick in. There is something of a post-industrial flavour here reminiscent of Godflesh, Justin Broadrick’s vocal style has definitely left something of a mark on frontman Chris. Hell of a way to open the album. Blackwall Approach reminds me of Chicago noise-rock legends Tar, there is a more melodic tone. On the one hand you are being bludgeoned, on the other you are grooving your ass out.

a mighty fine collection of abrasive noise-rock and post industrial sludge metal…

Gate Crasher takes a sludgier detour into vintage Melvins/Big Business territory, especially the latter with the bombastic low end attack. Twitcher features some absolutely crushing doom, which would make you think you were listening to Burning Witch, what with the slow and plodding bass/drums and minimalist riffing. I always remember Jason Landrian of Black Cobra’s description of Harvey Milk during his appearance on Amoeba Records What’s In My Bag feature, ‘Super heavy but not in a metal way’. That is exactly how I’d describe All Is Forgiven. If you dig Unsane then you are going to love Semi-Detached, a band who have always championed a more aggressive form of noise-rock than say Pussy Galore and Live Skull. It’s a track that threatens danger but stops short leaving you permanently on edge wondering when/where the explosion of violence is going to arrive.

Terra Firma is the shortest track on the album, starting off with a series of squeals and noises before a Pigs x 7 slab of psychedelic noise-rock kicks you mightily in the nuts. The album closes with Life Like, which features some Swans style tribal drumming and has a meditative quality that reminds one of Om. A much needed down tempo track after the beautifully abrasive sounds we had hitherto experienced.

Modern Technology had asked Shaman main-man Lee whether I would be up for reviewing this; their debut album, having enjoyed my previous reviews. I’m glad they did as it was a mighty fine collection of abrasive noise-rock and post industrial sludge metal. It was performed and produced to a high standard and at a mere eight tracks and 37 minutes long, provides you with a short sharp shock to the system. These fellas have been recommended by the likes of The Quietus and if this album is any indication then they have a very rosy future ahead of them indeed.

Label: Human Worth | Cruel Nature Records
Band Links: Facebook | Bandcamp | Instagram

Scribed by: Reza Mills