Add Insult to Injury

Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Brian Coleman
They may not have the long hair, the smarmy attitude, or the guitars, but Add N to X have something even more potentially nerve damaging than heavy-handed acts such as Sabbath, Motörhead, Slayer, and Fu Manchu: the low-end tones of analogue synthesizers. On their third full-length in as many years, this British trio continue their obvious hat-tipping to freaky forefathers Jean-Jacques Perrey, Dick Hyman, Kraftwerk, and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. They layer the sounds produced by walls of vintage '60s and '70s Arps, Korgs, and Moogs so thickly you can almost feel the tones dripping off your speakers. The group is on more of a rock-riff assault this time around, trading...
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Editorial Reviews

Barnes & Noble - Brian Coleman
They may not have the long hair, the smarmy attitude, or the guitars, but Add N to X have something even more potentially nerve damaging than heavy-handed acts such as Sabbath, Motörhead, Slayer, and Fu Manchu: the low-end tones of analogue synthesizers. On their third full-length in as many years, this British trio continue their obvious hat-tipping to freaky forefathers Jean-Jacques Perrey, Dick Hyman, Kraftwerk, and Emerson, Lake & Palmer. They layer the sounds produced by walls of vintage '60s and '70s Arps, Korgs, and Moogs so thickly you can almost feel the tones dripping off your speakers. The group is on more of a rock-riff assault this time around, trading tension and subtlety for a more in-your-face aesthetic. Without fail they volley with a vamp as deep and long as a Werner Herzog epic, build keys on top of it, phase random bleep/blip shrapnel in and out, and eventually burrow right through your sternum, clearly exhibiting this speaker-whipping on such cuts as "Brothel Charge," "Pokerole," and "MDMH." But Add N to X always have surprises waiting in the wings, as with the slower, creepy "B.P. Perino," the funky, groovy pair of "Incinerator No. 1" and "You Must Create," and the strangely beautiful, vocoder-ized "Plug Me In."
All Music Guide - Heather Phares
Add N to X's Add Insult to Injury should come with the disclaimer "no analog synths were hurt in the making of this album." The trio made an art of abusing their instruments on albums like 1999's brilliant Avant Hard. However, on their fourth full-length album they show a surprising streak of humanity toward their equipment, resulting in a curiously subdued, inhibited-sounding work. The division of labor on Add Insult to Injury is also curious. Ann Shenton, Steven Claydon, and the High Llamas' drummer Rob Allum wrote and performed eight of the album's songs, while Barry 7 wrote the other four. It gives the album a less-than-cohesive feel; most of Shenton and Claydon's songs, such "You Must Create," put textures ahead of melody or structure, making them sound like cuts off of old synth reference albums. However, the fuzzed-out "Brothel Charge," the sleekly menacing "Kingdom of Shades," and "Hit for Cheese" -- an S&M-tinged synth-punk duet between Shenton and a robot -- are standouts. Meanwhile, Barry 7's tracks, which include the excellent "Monster Bobby," a stomping chant sung by soccer hooligan androids or a robotic Gary Glitter, and the streamlined, cute-as-an-iMac "Plug Me In," are more focused and accessible. "Incinerator No. 1" recalls On the Wires of Our Nerves' beautifully ugly noise, and "The Regent Is Dead" is both elegiac and martial, mixing a synth choir with theremins and a snare-driven beat. Add Insult to Injury still feels like a small step backward after Avant Hard's synapse-frying creativity and energy, but it reaffirms that Add N to X are still a step ahead of most other vintage synth-based groups. Hopefully, they'll return to what they do best: sacrificing their keyboards in the name of art.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 10/17/2000
  • Label: Mute U.S.
  • UPC: 724596914021
  • Catalog Number: 9140

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Adding N to X (2:39)
  2. 2 Brothel Charge (3:02)
  3. 3 You Must Create (4:05)
  4. 4 Kingdom of Shades (3:47)
  5. 5 Monster Bobby (4:03)
  6. 6 Poke 'er 'ole (4:25)
  7. 7 Plug Me In (5:31)
  8. 8 Hit for Cheese (3:05)
  9. 9 MDMH (Miami Dust Mite Harvest) (4:24)
  10. 10 B.P. Perino (6:51)
  11. 11 Incinerator No. 1 (5:33)
  12. 12 The Regent Is Dead (15:56)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Add N to (X) Primary Artist
Dave Williamson Bass
Joe Dilworth Drums
Rob Allum Synthesizer, Bass, Percussion, Drums, bass pedals, Machines
Ann Shenton Synthesizer, Flute, Cello, Keyboards, Theremin, Vocals, Choir, Chorus, Moog Synthesizer, Mellotron, Korg, Accompaniment, Arp 2600, Harmonica (Electric)
Barry 7 Synthesizer, Celeste, Keyboards, Hammond Organ, Stick, Clavinet, Synthesizer Guitar, Moog Synthesizer, Mellotron, Korg, Roland Synthesizer, Chords
Steve Claydon Synthesizer, Bass, Cello, Keyboards, Stick, Vocals, Moog Synthesizer, Mellotron, Korg, Vocoder, Omnichord, bass pedals, Throat, Accompaniment, Micro Moog
Ben Rymer Vocals
Ross Orton Drums
Technical Credits
Rob Allum Composer
Add N to (X) Artwork
Ann Shenton Arranger, Producer
Barry 7 Arranger, Producer, Engineer
Steve Claydon Arranger, Producer
Richard Hermitage Management
Dean Honer Arranger
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