Background/Info: Agent Side Grinder has been active since 2005 and are now releasing their fifth studio-album to date. The band worked together with several labels and went through several changes in the line-up. “A/X” features new vocalist Emanuel Åström who already sung on the previously released EP’s “Doppelgänger” and “Stripdown”.
Content: Agent Side Grinder remains faithful to their 80s inspired sound, which can be seen as the basis of their composition. But the band also adds a very personal touch, which once again appears to be taken from a wider canvas of influences. Sometimes on the edge of EBM and also -and quite surprisingly, revealing acid sequences, the album is a fascinating electronic walk. The songs are maybe more electro-driven than previous productions, but you can still perceive guitar- and bass playing plus a saxophone.
The album also features contributions by guest artists Gustav Bendt (Club Killers) and singer Sally Dige.
+ + + : Agent Side Grinder became a recognized and successful group, but this album is according to me their best and most accomplished work to date. There’s a perfect balance between all influences, electronics and other instruments and last, but not least between the vocals and the music. New singer Emanuel Åström clearly appears to be the right fit. Agent Side Grinder can’t really be compared to any other formation and I like this ‘originality’. The work brings something refreshing, but also is a mature and accomplished work. Overwhelming synth lines support the songs with a dark sphere. The acid-like sequences running through a few cuts are quite unexpected, but here again showing the originality of the band.
– – – : The album only features 9 songs and when you’re listening to a great work you always expect a bit more than 9 tracks. But in the other hand I prefer it this way than an endless tracklist with multiple boring tracks.
Conclusion: Agent Side Grinder confirms with “A/X” their growing status as a successful band. This album features multiple great songs and I’ll not surprised to see this work listed in several ‘best of’-album from 2019!
Best songs: “In From The Cold”, “Doppelgänger”, “The great Collapse”, “MM / CM”, “Decompression”, “Allisin Sane (No. 2)”.