I've always hated goodbyes. And it isn't easier when it's the reign of a talented group of artists that comes to an end. Earthsuit, although an entity since the late nineties, didn't start really shaking things up until their 2000 Sparrow Records debut Kaleidoscope Superior. Although album sales weren't exactly labeled "impressive," Earthsuit offered an engaging live performance that wasn't easily matched. Their mix of electronic rock coupled with reggae synth flavoring made them a unique act to behold. After their national debut, Earthsuit soon virtually disappeared, occasionally coming up for air on the web with news of a pending indie release. In 2003, the rumor became reality as their follow-up release would be deemed their last - a hodge podge of random bits from recent and past Earthsuit history called The Rise of Modern Simulation.
While the artwork reeks of independent craftsmanship (in stark contrast to the 3D effects that made up the cover of Kaleidoscope Superior), The Rise of Modern Simulation has a few glorious uber-indie moments. The opening track "1-2-3" is a classic Earthsuit track mixing synths and vocal harmonies that might have a slight "boy band" feel but with an edge. "Bloodshot Fanatical" takes the listener back to Kaleidoscope days while "Foreign" is more of an awkward rap-driven quirky track. The greatest gem on the record is the next track, "Nightfall," an almost eerie and dramatic synth-rock song while another gem "Gummy Buffalo" offers a Mars-Ill-esque rap and an infectious drum beat.
Most of the rest of the project is merely fan filler. Some tracks are live, but they don't play out as well on CD as they do experienced in person. The sound quality is a little too poor as well, but a treat for hardcore Earthsuit fans nonetheless.
The Rise of Modern Simulation is a bittersweet goodbye for a band that had a lot of promise. If the project had been trimmed to just include the best, it would have made a stellar EP. But nonetheless, the live songs and even bonus live and behind-the-scenes footage make this an absolute must for the collection of any avid Suit fan.- Review date: 1/19/04, written by John DiBiase
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