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Stiff Valentine - "Loveless EP" (CD/EP)

Stiff Valentine - "Loveless EP" CD/EP cover image

"Loveless EP" track listing:

1. The Number 23
2. Absolution
3. Prison G
4. Breaking Point
5. Subsonic
6. Suck

Reviewed by on July 21, 2011

"Though there are moments when the industrial metal machine works well on Stiff Valentine's 'Loveless EP,' some derivative material and poor production throw a monkey wrench into the works."

With all the tips and tweaks that are possible in industrial metal, you'd be tempted to think that it would be impossible for a band to be boring or derivative. Unfortunately, big chunks of Stiff Valentine's "Loveless EP" disprove that theory.

The opening track, "The Number 23" is a shameless ripoff of Rob Zombie's "Superbeast" — so close that it's essentially the same tune with different lyrics. It's hardly an auspicious start to the album.

Things get a little better with "Absolution," featuring the band's harder-hitting style and "Prison G," which is reminiscent of tracks like Rob Zombie's "House of 1000 Corpses" and some of Ministry's slower-moving stuff, before moving into death growls. "Breaking Point" breaks out the dance beats, with a pretty good balance between disco ball and mosh pit.

Unfortunately, they're followed by the dull "Subsonic," with instrumentation that borders on the monotone in some sections. "Suck" heads into punk rock territory, but it's such an obvious tune that it grows dull about halfway through its two-minute length.

Also, for an industrial disc, the production is frankly pretty threadbare. One of the draws to the genre is its heavy emphasis on rhythm, but the drums — both "real" and synthesized — feel pretty tinny.

Though there are moments when the industrial metal machine works well on Stiff Valentine's "Loveless EP," some derivative material and poor production throw a monkey wrench into the works.

Highs: "Absolution" and "Prison G"

Lows: "Suck," "Subsonic" and especially the Rob Zombie ripoff "The Number 23"

Bottom line: A boring, derivative industrial metal disc with only a few bright spots.

Rated 2.0 out of 5 skulls
2.0 out of 5 skulls


Key
Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)