The album chaotically shifts pace back and forth; the songs running into one another with no time in-between. The record opens with “Control (Rage)”, a layered, firm-handshake body-music track designed to hijack the amygdala. The kick drum resembles the steady flash of a panic button. You press it, but nothing happens—no relief. The irregular placement of snare matches Chang’s cries of dysregulation, spiraling red-eyed after having lost command asking, “Will I regain control?” While presented as a song of despair, optimism and determination shine through in the final line as the question is taken back and turned into a statement, “Watch me regain control”. This is a theme that permeates throughout the album: Taking challenging times of despair and coming through the other end with hope and optimism. Spike Hellis (S/T) was made with the intention to feel jolting. Techno-tinged “Flight” is an SH-101 track wherein lyrical instructions for escaping a dream are chanted over the iconic rubber band sound, with the claps paying homage to Charlie’s “Spacer Woman”. “Slices” is the funky first single which leads into its supplementary counterpart, “Stitches”. Footsteps grow louder until it opens into a dark waltz. Samples of William S. Burroughs cackling ring out over Emulator arpeggios until we arrive at “Teardrops (Kisses)”. While it is perhaps the most light-hearted track on the album sonically, themes of social punishment and isolation push through the surface to reveal conflict at its core. Chang and Gibson trade off cries of shame and humiliation while distorted synths, swirling in polyrhythms, close out Side A.
Since finishing the album, Spike Hellis has hit the road hard with zero hesitation—completing two full US tours and a handful of smaller runs within the span of one year.
Blasting their bleak outlook and spreading their gospel of disenchantment and sarcasm, Spike Hellis announces their arrival.
Void Vision’s cold, analog tracks are dominated by Vari’s haunting, powerful voice. But unlike many others associated with the genre, the songs are quite dynamic in range and structure, referencing a cross-section of the last 30 years of electronic music, while retaining a strong sense of personality and soul that speaks for itself.