In the seven years that has passed since MSTRKRFT dropped their previous LP, the landscape of dance punk has changed so much so that it’s almost vanished in every sense other than a nostalgic one. Jesse F. Keeler and AL-P rely on that nostalgia with OPERATOR, but it’s not enough to make the album much more than a means to make the listener recoil. For the most part, the hardcore punk that is the lifeblood of the Toronto duo takes on the role of a particularly hostile chainsaw. The frenzied techno nods to The Prodigy’s 90s work, but even trumps them on the lacerating scale, with tuneless synths pounding and bruising you into submission. Amongst the wince-inducing, inimical assault however, there is a track that is worth praising. With Runaway, MSTRKRFT find a balance between the antagonistic incursion and electro-funk wizardry, but asides from that standout, the record as a whole is a jarring affair.
FIRST PUBLISHED ON NO RIPCORD