Genghis Tron back in new form, deliver psychedelic numbness on mesmerizing ‘Dream Weapon’

Trying to remember what I was doing 13 years ago is nearly impossible for me to do, because I was practically a different person then. I was still working at my second job out of college, I don’t think I had even started thinking about collecting vinyl records, and my taste in beer was practically nonexistent and completely immature.

That also happened to be the last time we got a record from Genghis Tron, the electronic-grind band that delivered two of the most chaotic and way-before-their-time records, the last of which was 2008’s “Board Up the House.” It seemed like a dead issue, and had the world only been treated to their two albums and trio of EPs, likely no one would have complained. Yet, in 2021, we have a new record from Genghis Tron, and like their first two, they’re rewriting their role within heavy music. If you’re here to get a carbon copy of “Dead Mountain Mouth” or “Board Up,” you won’t find what you’re seeking. Instead, on “Dream Weapon,” we find a brand-new band, figuratively and literally. Keyboardist/programmer Michael Sochynsky and guitarist Hamilton Jordan are now joined by new vocalist Tony Wolski (he replaces Mookie Singerman, who chose not to return) and real-life drummer Nick Yacyshyn (replacing programmed drums) on a record that feels like a psychedelic journey beyond yourself and into some other realm you couldn’t imagine before. The synth pockets are deep and entrancing, the drumming complements the ambiance, and the vocals are smooth and like they’re gently falling from the clouds, leaving you numb and chilled.      

“Exit Perfect Mind” is a quick intro cut built with warm synth and bubbling emotion, feeling like the sky is opening as it moves toward “Pyrocene” that hits with beats clashing and frosty keys before Wolski’s wonderfully ghostly singing starts to move. Strange ambiance doubles as your head is immersed with sounds and ideas, and a mechanical dream unravels. The synth glimmers as the track feels like it’s eating into the heart of the ’80s with fog and rain collecting, drums cracking, and the shadows bowing to the night. The title track follows with drums pummeling and smooth vocals collecting, rumbling but also dissipating. The pace feels relentless and anxiety inducing as the haze pulls over like a cloud. The pace then punches as a psyche trail sprawls, continually adding to the madness until everything comes to a toppling finish. “Desert Stairs” is a quick instrumental cut that has synth stinging and a storm front gathering as alien lightning is collected before the track settles into mystery.

“Alone in the Heart of the Light” delivers jabbing keys and echo as your brain ices over. The music is cosmic at heart as your body is numbed delightfully while the drums rustle. Sci-fi-style melodies send chills through you as the playing drives, and an immersive dream state is achieved, making your cells tingle as the music drains, and the vocals soothe your mind. “Ritual Circle” is the longest track, running 10:22, and it sits in a key surge and floating vocals, bringing a heavy cold front. Energy spits as the pressure increases, picking up the pace and melting continents of ice. The aggression picks up as the synth glimmers, the pace loops, and the fog envelopes you, ending with the drums picking at your psychosis. “Single Black Point” trudges and brings a new force, one that’s kinetic and agitating, causing your body to jolt. The synth rises as the drums eat away at you, sounds bounce from the walls, and the force disappears into mist. Closer “Great Mother” runs 8:59, allowing the synth to loom and roam before things power up. Sounds rain down as Wolski’s singing pelts away from you, feeling like a transmission from the spirit world. Chemical keys drip, the playing whirs, and the drums kick a hole in your side, opening strange portals. The guitars charge, the sounds clobber, and the track disappears down a drain into the netherworld.

Genghis Tron’s mammoth sleep ended in such a strange way on “Dream Weapon,” an album I’m surprised is even here and probably more rattled by how it sounds. This is such an extreme turn for this band, but a really goddamn invigorating one. This is not the Genghis Tron you used to know, as that body has long since decayed. This is a new beast slinking from the cosmos, into your ear while you’re in slumber, and forever changing your reality in a way you couldn’t comprehend until now.

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