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June 22, 2024

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Self Inflicted (Cleopatra)

By: Ernie Volkmann

"Consistency" and "Industrial" aren't usually terms that have endeared to one another over the years. However, one of the best stories in the post - Last Rights era has been the remarkably consistent output of Leatherstrip. Stripper Claus Larsen has quietly put together a string of great dancefloor oriented albums with his signature flourishes of keyboard "composition", of which Self Inflicted is the latest. Inflicted is somewhat more downtempoed than past LPs, but Larsen definitely hasn't lost his edge at all, as evidenced by opener "Hate Me!" and scorchers "Understand My Torment" and "Give it Back". Larsen once again spills his disdain for all religions in (what will turn out to be one of the better mantras in Leatherstrip's considerable history) in "Coming Up for Air": "Jesus was a man/Jesus was a lie...Satan is a God/Satan is a dog...expose the symbols of love and hate/I wanna hear the blasphemy." Larsen has been spewing this madness for years now, and while fans understand he's no Shakespeare, he gets his point across better than almost any other band in Leatherstrip's vein.

As always, Larsen is sure to keep alter ego Klute far to the side and please the hungry clubbers in every Leatherstrip album. "Tell Me What to Do" and "Under My Control" will be surefire club favorites, big name remixer not necessary here since Claus has been at master creating industrial dance to the highest order for quite some time. Larsen's great experiment on Inflicted is the track "Kill a Raver", whose lyrics are incidentally not included in the sleeve. The song however, shows Larsen experimenting somewhat off the Leatherstrip sound with "4 on the Floor" beats, and loops and samples not typically used by Larsen. The result is almost like the Chemical Brothers being played through Larsen, something that truly deserves to be heard in an arena greater than industrial. The problem being, obviously, the apparent disparaging remarks about the scene at which Larsen used to his benefit so well here. It does nothing to take away from the brilliance of one of industrial's best craftsmen.

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