The Fair Sex: "Drop Your Anxiety" Reviews

"Drop Your Anxiety" is the title for the latest album by the German band THE FAIR SEX, but if you look a bit closer at the tracklist you can see that none of the songs are really that new. The remix fever has apparently hit again and on this album you'll find material that is mainly collected from "Bite Release Bite", which was released in 1991, but also a couple of songs from "Spell Of Joy" and "Labyrinth" has been included. According to the promo sheet the album aims towards the dance floors of the goth/industrial scene and this is also something that you can clearly hear in the remixes. Much of the stiffness and coldness of the original versions heavy industrial based sound has been reformed to become more dance floor friendly. The coldness in the sound has to a great extent disappeared and a warmer and more dark wave like sound has been mixed with the small traces of the heavier industrial sound that is still present in the songs, like for example on "Fat Bellies' Hunger (Greed Version)" and "Soul spirit (Spiritualized)". At some moments the very dance friendly remixes even get slight traces of future pop, which cuts of some more of the rough edges of the industrial sound. Another interesting detail is that the quite heavy guitar work has in many songs taken a step back and the sound gets even more electronic than I'm used to when it comes to THE FAIR SEX. It's especially the first song "Alaska (Hook line Assembler)", "Shelter (TFS. TDC Act)" and the above mentioned "Soul spirit (Spiritualized)" that I've become very fond of and they are maybe the brightest highlights on this album. Finally you also get to hear a live version of the excellent song "Shelter", on which the heavier industrial sound again gets some more space. With its very catchy melodies and above all the very successful remixes, I'm convinced that the aim for THE FAIR SEX to reach out on the dance floors with "Drop Your Anxiety" will be reached. With latex and leather, a lot of strobe lights and the album "Drop Your Anxiety" you have the main ingredients for a good party. Umbrella drinks are banned, sorry. - Janne, Metal-only zine

This is the latest work from The Fair Sex, but presents us with tracks dating back over a decade in the form of remixes extracted from past releases including Labyrinth, Spell of Joy and Bite Release Bite. The remixes lean toward creating pieces targeted at the club dancefloor that are saturated with EBM, electro-industrial and synthpop bands. Overall I have a hard time with remix albums and many singles because of the many ways tracks are taken apart and reconstructed falling way short of the original intent. Once in a while a good remix comes along, especially when you have an entire album to choose from and such is the case with this disc. If you're familiar with the original tracks and then listen to this album you'll definitely notice the dominant electronic feeling as the harsher guitar riffs are moved back into the background or not present at all. To start it off is "Alaska (Hookline Assembler)" which is a catchy remix that manages to be rendered electronically in something of a positive way. "Outraged and Moved (Dub)" is a remix that is a perfect example of how stripped down a track can get with certain remixes and what you end up with is a loop repeated over and over again with just a trance-like dance mix as a result. This happens on a few tracks on this album, but it's also something that many club DJ's may enjoy that cater to the future pop and electronic bands. The saving grace to this album include the aforementioned "Alaska" remix along with "Soulspirit" with the excellent guitar work that is included in this piece and the excellent electronic layers. This piece remains a favorite on this disc due to the way the remix maintains so much of the full song structure of the original without stripping it down into a bunch of mindless trance-like loops. "Haemetic (Essentials-Compilator)" also manages to capture the essence of the powerful groundwork this band portrays. Another great addition to the disc is the live version of "Shelter" with that excellent guitar-driven sound that really works with this track and Myk's deep, harsh vocals. In summary this is a great collector's item with some nice remixes and the live track, but doesn't measure up to the original works from this band. - Jacob L. Bogedahl, Gothic Paradise
Het kleine Amerikaanse elctro industrial label (lees Amerikaanse crossover) Van Richter blijft Dark Entries trakteren op leuke promo's. Dit keer ligt "Drop Your Anxiety" op m'n schrijftafel, het hoesje tenminste, want het schijfje slingert nu via m'n cd speler Fair Sex muziek doorheen m'n bescheiden maar toch gezellige woonkamer. Nu, nieuw is het materiaal op dit album niet, alle nummers zijn afkomstig uit in Europa reeds lang geleden uitgegeven albums als "Bite Release Bite" (1991), "Spell Of Joy" (1992) en "Labyrinth" (1995)... en dat betekent lichtvoetige crossover, de ideale combinatie van gitaar en elektronica badend in het zweet van de jaren '80. De beste tracks van de drie albums krijgen we hier telkens in een remix vorm, speciaal voor het Van Richter label nam The Fair Sex hun oude cult succesje opnieuw onderhanden en joegen ze deze door de 'mixer' Dat een en ader speciaal is bestemd voor de Amerikaanse markt mag ook onze pret niet bederven want bij het beluisteren van "Drop Your Anxiety" overvalt me meermaals een gelukzalige glimlach van herkenning en meteen de gedachte 'shit hoe heet dat nummer ook alweer en dan vol ongeloof... was dit van The Fair Sex?... Ja dus. The Fair Sex zou dan ook geen onbekende mogen zijn voor de Dark Entries lezer, want de groep is al sinds de tweede helft van de jaren '80 actief en is vast van plan nog een tijdje door te gaan. Muzikaal toon dit album ietwat verwantschap met onze The Neon Judgement of de meer elektronische aangestuurde onweerstaanbare riedels van Cat Rapes Dog, of nog, KMFDM. Dansbaar en melodieus, maar toch met voldoende ballen om niet af te glijden in het vakje goedkope clubmuziek op maat van de 'zwarte massa' Neen, meer dan 10 jaar na datum is het nog altijd genieten van nummers als "Outraged And Moved" "White Noise" "Fat Bellies' Hunger" of "Soulspirit" ook al dragen ze op deze "Drop Your Anxiety" een remix jasje. Ik zou het importvakje bij de platenboer maar in de gaten houden als ik van u was. "Drop Your Anxiety" mag dan voor de Europese consument niet essentieel zijn, het is een verdomd leuk schijfje muziek! - [KI], Dark Entries Music Magazine
Tra ristampe di vecchio materiale e nuovi colpi di coda, in un modo o nell'altro ci ritroviamo spesso a parlare dei FS, longevo act germanico un po' sfortunato e piu volte sottovalutato dalla critica specializzata (non dimentichiamoci che colossi degli anni '90 come Girls Under Glass o Project Pitchfork hanno assimilato molte sfumature dal grezzo sound di questo quartetto di Essen). Stavolta tocca ad un album che contiene alcuni brani che la band ha riassemblato negli anni, una manciata di composizioni remixate che anche sotto questa nuova veste sembrano appartenere alla notte dei tempi. Il 'crossover' electronico dei FS riunisce sotto la stessa bandiera elementi cra industrial ora dark - wave, tra l'altro arricchiti dalle chitarre e da una sorta di altitudine cyber-punk degna dei primissimi Skinny Puppy. Il discorso fino a qui filerebbe liscio come l'olio, ma consigliamo questa 'raccolta' soltanto ai cultori della preistoria elettronica, perche "Drop Your Anxiety" potra essere apprezzato solo da chi ha cominciato proprio da queste sonorita, stop: se poi aggiungiamo il fatto che si tratta di una normale appendice a quanto di buono hanno detta i FS negli anni, capirete voi stessi che forse e meglio rivolgersi verso i loro vecchi cavalli di battaglia, o al massimo verso il loro ultimo e splendido split - CD realizzato con gli altri 'dinosauri' tedeschi Invincible Spirit. - Paolo Trerotoli, Rock Hard Magazine
German death-disco champs The Fair Sex cough up a remix album featuring an array of dancefloor destroyers that stretch all the way back to their daze as pioneers in the guitartronica genre. I am not sure what's changed about the songs now that they've been chopped up and revamped, but what remains still sounds like prime late 80's dance-dustrial, all headspinning beats and clanging metal flourishes. The Fair Sex are smoother than the Skinny Puppy, but share many of same bad obsessions ? depression, war-fear, creepy crawly coldwave beats, distorted man-thing vocals, and acidic guitar riffs. "You Have to Eat Me Now" is the most sinister track on deck, a throbbing, decadent beast, but I bet "Soulspirit" is the one that gets young Germans with severe haircuts laid the most. You hear this kinda stuff everywhere these days, even on TV, but the Fair Sex were one of the bands to develop this kick, kinky sound, and they remain one of the best. Check 'em out if you dig paranoid gloom you can dance to. - Ken, Sleazegrinder Magazine
The Fair Sex returns with a brand new release, not new album, titled Drop your Anxiety which is all about remixing old songs. To give a brief introduction to the whole, The Fair Sex used to be one of the pioneers of the gothic rock scene, and I say gothic rock due their heavy guitar rigs that were established back in the 80's. To my ears Drop your Anxiety is a necessary release of an old band who wishes to follow up with today's sound. Not that I necessarily agree with such an action but when the outcome is worth listening then I have no problem with it. All the remixes moves under an electronic overall feeling and if you are familiar with the old songs then it is more than obvious what they are trying to achieve through this, with the ebm feeling dominating and the guitar characteristics having a secondary word to the whole. Most people will love this and especially dj's but people who support the old sound will get disappointed for either the end result or the fact that they changed the sound in order to follow up. In summary, I enjoyed the listen a lot and this release is already a collectors item but I am sure that THE FAIR SEX fans will stick up with the original work. - John Gedeon "Vassago", The Enochian Apocalypse e-zine
The Fair Sex have been making their unique style of guitar EBM music since the 80s. While they went in a slightly more rock direction on their most recent release, this new remix album of older material shows that their roots were a lot more electronic. The music here is a mix of old and new. Some songs have an old school 80s flavor to them, while others sound more current. What this album shows is that The Fair Sex were ahead of their time in the underground electronic music scene. They did things in the past that a lot of bands are just now starting to incorporate into their music such as mixing guitars with EBM. The Fair Sex have a unique sound due to both blending guitars with EBM and having a singer with a diverse sounding voice and singing style. Basically, when you hear The Fair Sex you know that it's them and not some other band. All of the songs offered on this album are upbeat with catchy elements making them great for club play. But they have enough going on in them that also make them good to listen to at home, in the car, or with headphones. If you're a fan of The Fair Sex, this album is a must for your collection. If you haven't heard The Fair Sex before, this is a good place to start. - Darklight, Wrapped IN Wire
"Drop Your Anxiety" is not the new album of Fair Sex, but just a collection of taken remixes from the albums "Bite Release Bite" "Spell Of Joy" and "Labyrinth" (from the nineties production, in short), that in the intention of the band from Essen should be an album for goth clubs and dance floors in general. Actually the ten offered versions suffer the original date, appearing as quite tied to the past. Moving among dark wave exhibitions, synth pop edges and gothic rock implants, the german band assembles a compilation from which on one side it seems to see the synthetic figures of VNV Nation and Apoptygma Berzerk, on the other the cyber punk luggage of the early Skinny Puppy. The refusal to exploit some too trendy sounds, an intriguing use of retro solutions that create an unusual ambient, though comparable with the middle European dark electronic, mark the fourty five minutes of music in "Drop Your Anxiety" where you notice the ability to do less some too popish melodies, though remaining quite evocative and accessible. Some never too pushed electronic manipulations and sober samples address towards a niche market that can enjoy this offer a lot. The german foursome wants us to dance, but its music would be more at ease in some dark vampire discotheque, rather than in a rave party with neon lights, considering also the rhythm remain on rather low beat levels per minute. Practically, who wants to shake showing his latex clothes, can make a step ahead. - Flavio Ignelzi, Silent Scream Webzine
The Fair Sex began in Essen, Germany back in the mid 80's as one of the first bands to ever crossover electronic sequencing and guitar rock, giving us the electro-metal sound we hear today. Their first North American release "Machine Bites" heralds the bands first step on American soil, which was critically praised as "A must have" and put the The Fair Sex up as the new Skinny Puppy. Awarded with high praise from prestigious industrial artists and fans around the world still growing in number today, to suffering tragedy with the death of their drummer A.Bang during a live performance back in 1988. The Fair Sex still move forward with an unstoppable momentum to bring in tomorrows next new sound. The beginning track "Alaska [Hookline Assembler] is a very catchy remix, featuring some fast paced basslines and beautiful, heavenly strings that give it a very goth/club friendly atmosphere that should please even the most seasoned club and dance floor haunters. My only complaint on this remix is it's too short, clocking in at 2:34, it fells too brief and underplayed. Literally as great as this remix is, if you blink you might miss it.
Leading in with "Outraged and Moved" we get a very Skinny Puppy-esc track,but with some old school guitar work leading through the track and Myk Jung's screaming vocals blaring though the audio waves. Further tracks such "Shelter [TFS.TDC Act], "Fat Bellies' Hunger [Greed Version], and Haematic [Essentials-Compilator] get this same treatment with some darkwave touches elevating the dance floor vibe, but again "Haematic" unfortunately is another short track that left me with much more to be desired; as its brevity almost becomes non-existent amongst the power-hitters. The blissfully sequenced and beautiful "Soulspirit [Spiritualized]" brings out the absolute beauty in the album. It makes you feel like your floating on air, a great visual track that shows the bands true creativity while still adding their expected beat and percussion based themes. The album takes it up a notch with "You Have To Eat Me Now" the longest track on the album comes in with a catchy guitar riff, faced paced sequencing and an almost "Fluke"-like rhythm. This is one of those memorable tracks that you'll find yourself playing over and over again.
The final remix track "White Noise [All For Nothing Version]" comes from the album "Labyrinth". Beginning with a very thick analog bassline, which makes me happy to hear that bands still use analog gear every once in a while, and a heavy guitar driven ballad. This is another one of my favorite tracks. The last track is actually a live version of "Shelter". Hearing the audience in the background really gives you an idea the intensity they give to their fans. It also delivers a surreal feel to it; it's one of those tracks you wish you were there to see it in person. But to those of you who have been with The Fair Sex since their birth in the mid 80's will have a lot to remember in this album since the majority of this album spans over the earlier albums such as "Bite Release Bite", "Spell of Joy" and "Labyrinth". What's great about this album is it gives newcomers a glimpse into the bands past albums with a different style, while for the veterans everything old is new again. However I'm sure some veteran listeners may pass this one up for something with new material, which is understandable, but this is still a great album for your collection set. But even to you newcomers, you should defiantly look up the past albums to get that old-school industrial rock sound The Fair Sex is known for. - Justin Schmidt, Subculture Magazine
Van Richter Records has quickly followed up their release of The Fair Sex's "best of", The Dark Ages, with the remix album, Drop Your Anxiety. Here you'll find classics from The Fair Sex, remixed to given them a more dance floor friendly quality. I am not overly familiar with The Fair Sex's older works, so this review will be a bit odd in that I can't compare the remixes to the original tracks. The album as a whole is interesting - the tracks have been pulled from the albums Bite Release Bite, Spell of Joy and Labyrinth, all releases from the early to mid 90's. You can definitely hear the age of the tracks, many having a sound similar to earlier Skinny Puppy, but the remixes twist this sound a bit, making the songs more melodic, more "danceable". Most of the tracks are catchy, though I'm not sure all of them will make it to the dance floor because of their slower tempo. Standout tracks include "Alaska (Hookline Assembler)", "Shelter (TFS.TDC Act)", "Fat Bellies' Hunger (Greed Version)", "Soulspirit (Spiritualized)", "You Have To Eat Me Now","White Noise (All For Nothing Version)". The last track on the album is a live version of "Shelter", so if you are unfamilar with the original songs, this gives you a sense of the track's original qualities. You can clearly see how the guitar work from the original track has been replaced by electronic beats in the "TFS.TDC ACT" remix. This album is yet another interesting look at a one of the early pioneers of the industrial sound. While more hardcore fans of The Fair Sex may not like the twists on old classics, those newer to the band may find this album a good starting point to find out what The Fair Sex is all about. -Legion, This is Corrosion
This is the fifth release by Germany's The Fair Sex on US label Van Richter. As before, it re-releases out-of-print stuff from obscure defaunct labels domestically finally. Tracks included are from the Outraged And Moved MCD, the Toys ep (later released on Bite Release Bites), the Soulspirit CDS, Eat Me And More MCD, and the You Know White Noise MCD. As industrial music goes, it has little to do with EBM trends of the past 8 years or so. It's not dancey, metal guitar-ey, synth-poppy, noise-based or any of those popular, more recent styles. It's more along the lines of 80's industrial stuff before those trends came along. Straight ahead electronic music like PiaS or WaxTrax used to do. Remember that? No? If that's too before-your-time, here's where you can find out how industrial was back in the before time of the early 1990's. - Tsanger Banger, Temple of Horror Webzine
One of the most influential bands in the industrial/underground scene, has returned (once again) with an album full of revitalized, remixed, and revamped tracks. The Fair Sex has been making music in one form or another for the better part 2 decades, with roots beginning in hard rock, then shifting to the use of drum machines and electronics, this band has remained original despite the dance floor trends and "soft synth" monopoly. Almost every track on this album will sound familiar to those who have been in "the scene" for over ten years, but with new production and remixes making it sound like it has been given an injection of modern technology. You can still hear the aggro, and you can still here the talent in this much awaited release. - Phee Stringer, Livid Looking Glass Webzine
Music is more or less timeless. The year something is made or released doesn't really matter, all that matters is the music. Or better said; the complete piece of art; the music, the art, the packaging. Within the more dark and underground styles of music, people figure this out more and more. Everyone is familiar with LJDLP's pieces of art, which are a real example of how things can transcend being simply focused on music. This release however, was nearly the simplest one can expect. A plastic sleeve with the frontcover/booklet (if one can call a four-paged paper a booklet) and the CD. I admit, it's not the worst that can happen, which is a blank CD'r without any information, such as happened me before with Allerseelen's 'Knospe' and the Sturmpercht / Jägerblut split.
The frontcover shows a psychedelic / scifi hybrid landscape, with brains (?) floating in the air, and several televisions showing nothing but the typical white noise one sees when the cable's are unplugged. In Star Wars style the names of the band and the release are printed on the soil. 'Drop You Anxiety' it says. Anxiety about what? What might be so bad that one can be afraid of it? Agreed, one should be afraid of the constant loads of shite that's being broadcasted through TV. One should think for oneself, instead of being made braindead. Aren't that small belts around the brains? Saying they're not free? Who knows, there's little more information to go on.
As with the previous The Fair Sex release on Van Richter Records, 'The Dark Ages', this release is also a compilation. But while 'The Dark Ages' was a best of compilation from several older albums, this is a compilation of what seems different versions, remixes, etc of songs. The booklet states the songs are taken from 'Alaska/Outraged And Moved', 'Toys', 'Soulspirit', 'Eat Me And More' and 'You Know White Noise'. All are MCD's, and made between in 1991 and 1992, except for the last one, which is from 1995. So over a decade later, all songs are being rereleased through an American label.
This first song clearly breathes a Depeche Mode atmosphere, except for the vocals. The lyrics in the booklet are next to useless. I'm sure some of the lyrics are sung throughout the 2½ minutes the track lasts, but surely not in the order they're printed in. Which proves this one surely was a remix/remake. The same is true for the next track (and some other). I had no idea where to start reading the lyrics, and honestly, I still don't. This 'dub' version introduces the guitar on this album. Yeah, electric guitar and dub. Go figure. It's not really a dub song in my opinion. Enjoyable nonetheless.
For the casual music listener, this release isn't one to pick up. However, if you really enjoy what The Fair Sex has put out the last two decades, and want to hear a different side of them, this is something to get. No need to get a decade old MCD's/Vinyls, which are probably scratched or otherwise not in really good condition. But don't expect information about who created the different version of the songs. It's not noted in the booklet. All in all, it's rather enjoyable 80's EBM/Goth. Danceable as well as listenable. Hearing this album should bring back memories for the older Goth fans among us. Times when clubs weren't yet infested with boring and uninspired synthpop/futurepop etc. ChAwech, Heathen Harvest E Zine

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