What Greta Van Vleet is to Led Zeppelin, Jane in Space may be to Nine Inch Nails (NIN). Sure, both bands took a leaf (or five) from the books of their heroes, but it would be disingenuous to write them off as derivative and second-rate. In the case of Jane in Space, the creative and boisterous ride through their flavour of industrial/electronic/alt-rock is clear evidence that there remain uncharted territories in this well-established subgenre.
Every track on Gorerunner is saturated with atmosphere, weaving the broad tapestry of dark, haunting, mysterious, and even psychedelic textures at points. Clockwork machinery direct the rhythm section and eerie, if not downright dissonant, piano lines provide the melodic base for most tunes on this EP. Simple melodies and progressions are manipulated into a sound that’s greater than the sum of its parts thanks to nifty production and textural layering – ‘Full Stop’ and ‘Little Raurus’ in particular.
The duo’s use of darker musical modes is also refreshing; the fuzzy, manic guitar leads on ‘Eat Your Face’ breath life into the much-abused Phrygian mode, which is often bled dry by masturbatory shred metal heads.
Perhaps the best feature of the whole EP is the epic monstrosity of the synth and guitar tones. The intergalactic, Sabbath-y riffs in ‘Little Raurus’ and abrasive filters on ‘Gorerunner’ and ‘Eat Your Face’ are evidence of hours of meticulous tinkering and refinement. Truly professional work on par with the best of them.
The vocals are unmistakably Reznor in nature. That raging, misanthropic nihilist, only with an English accent this time. Even the quieter vocal lines follow the filtered/telephone approach that Reznor has used extensively across his career. This is one area that unabashedly tows the NIN line, but given their dominant influence in industrial music, it could be considered a standard by now.
Some may be put off by the explicit Reznor influences on the whole EP, but everyone emulates their heroes when starting out. Ultimately, Jane in Space have too much to offer to be written off as clones – if Ministry or NIN is on your playlist, these guys are a must listen.