Take slabs of thrash inspired guitar, a gazillion beeps and blips,drum samples pushed to the limits of volume and a distorted Kurt Cobain-ish vocal spitting ultraviolent images of war. gospels of hate, tales of hypocrisy, rape and sodomy, mix ’em together and add fuck it up even more in the blender and you’ll get a little close to what Switch does for fun. Really.
And who doesn’t want a piece of this pie, with all the mindless pop and radio friendly rock brainwashing the ever-clueless listening public refuses to turn on in fear of being outcasts? The fact is, all fifteen tracks of glorious mayhem on Switch’s debut album could very well be the soundtrack to the apocalypse happening before us. From the relentless, thrash – staccato – influenced single “The New Messiah,” wherein main man IQ pumps up the tempo and goes for broke in setting the mood (“I am the sweetest whore/I am your anarchy/face-fucked with desire/ I am your anti –christ / give me freedom with a barrel of a gun”) up to the forward thrust of equally shock-evoking masterpieces like the groovy, discotheque-from-hell-mood of “I give you” to the stop-and-go march of “Reconnect,” it’s clear that this is one group not meant for the faint-hearted and the, well, musically passive. In the repetitive, spliced and diced lyricism of IQ, there’s beauty in how he- alongside guitarist Wilbert Tan, Bassist Vic Narciso and Drummer Abe Billano – deconstructs and reconstructs straightforward elements to make and drive an even sharper point that’s not always clear, yet universally appealing for fans of undiluted music.
Though obviously inspired by the industrial strains of bands like NIN, Ministry, KMFDM and at times by the sheer and destructive power of Atari Teenage Riot, Switch still collectively tries to put variety in the music they create by incorporating melody and simple progressions that can slip easily into the rock vein (“Scratches and scarves” which reminds us more of Stabbing Westward albeit momentarily), and sometimes treading more accessible genres like electronica and techno if not for the dark, twisted lyricism recalling the approach of evil-disco-doers Static-X and even millennium shock-rock poster boy Marilyn Manson: music not exclusively dedicated to industrial sub-genre and with undoubtedly more appeal.
Yet what makes Visceral even more truly more menacing and forbidding is the fact that Switch knows how to effectively toy around with what they can do: instead of a full-on head-charge, the band shifts suddenly to a poignant breaker “Dusk” and offers a false sense of security and safety, musically establishing their capabilities as far as structured pieces go. “You gotta learn to crawl before you walk,” as the old saying adage goes, and it seems Switch was listening to whoever first uttered that phrase. And just as the chaos returns, IQ transforms the sinister into playful by fooling around with words: “you cannot destroy my faith/ you cannot destroy my heart/you cannot destroy my soul/ you cannot fix up my flesh/ but I wail follow you/ I wail fall/ limb..live.”(“Fixing the flesh : redemption”) Needless to say, it’s hard to describe word-for-word what Visceral is- it’s a record that has to be experienced, just as all great records go. It’s a hell of a lot easier to let the sonic assault take you and obliterate whatever form of logic you once had for music than to actually pick apart the elements that make up this fine mixture of sound. Not just for fans of the genre, a much-needed amphetamine shot for a world of brain-dead musical zombies. If heavy metal was equal parts Satan and gore, Switch and the music it creates is equal parts S and M and Alien autopsy. Just as morbidly fascinating and shockingly fulfilling as f@ck. – Joey Dizon (PULP Mag)