[reviews] afe049cd
gerstein: here comes sickness

chain d.l.k. []
webzine, italy, may 2004

A sort of anthological CD by our own Maurizio Pustianaz / Gerstein, one of the prime movers of the Italian industrial/experimental scene, besides being co-founder of our beloved ChainDLK.

One more Mudhoney quote in the title ("Chain the door", his fanzine which later merged with "DLK", was titled after Mudhoney's "Chain that door"), and 15 tracks from 1990 to 2001, collecting unreleased songs, four from the "A Kindly Method of Living" tape (1990), and "Rise" from "The Bliss Compilation" (1999).

It's always been hard to pigeonhole Gerstein's music, which has shifted, or rather rolled back and forth, from noise & ritual industrial to wave, from dark ballads to electropop - always with a distinct personality and a touch of originality, not as a schizophrenic or, worse, a trendy clone.

Pustianaz has always played what he wanted to, as he wanted to. "Here Comes Sickness" mainly features his heartfelt mix of electro-fuelled rock ("A Fly in My Eye"), cold wave ("Dust", "There's Something on My Back", "Bright Light, Bright Life"), minimal dark folk ballads ("The Puke They Are", "Warmth", "Frozen"), quasi-psychedelia ("They Blind Me"), dark electronic symphonies à la Coil ("Metal on Metal", "Rise")... All with an inner coherence (though it's an anthology) and with the distinctive trait d'union of Maurizio's deep and soulful voice.

"How I Feel", the most recent track, is definitely more electro/synth-pop oriented, and should prelude to Gerstein's new releases, one of which - a split with Cold Cluster - is already due on Afe.

Now that using drum machines and playing wave/post-punk has become trendy again, who knows if Gerstein will get the credit and exposure he deserves.

[Eugenio Maggi]