Otto's Daughter - 'Renew'
(Self-produced - distribution by Metropolis)


MARK: 95/100



...I, well, Ah...cain't fucking believe it! Hey, you bootlicking assholes of US majors, stop thinking about your current accounts in Switzerland or at the Canaries and make a serious offer to a superb promising young act arrived at the threshold of their 2nd professional 17-track CD, which deserves a listening both from rockers, and metalheads, and gothic/electro freaks!
After an intense live activity, some usual line-up changes and a debut-disk, "Void of Course", released in Oct. '99, the 5-piece from North Bergen (NJ) has self-produced their comeback and entrusted the experienced production wizard Neil Kernon (Queensryche, Macabre, Death SS, Judas Priest, Nevermore...) with the mixing, and the results can be heard right from the starting "Over it", inviting and smooth, gifted with NIN and melodic parts proving a certain care in the arranging; wonderful vocals siren/Amazon-like are Jacqueline Van Bierk's in "Wish", also including a piano insert and again some rock/Trent Reznor elements.
Disquieting samples open "Better", then an alternation between dangerous, threatening (Manhole/Tura Satana) and sexy vocalizations precedes an obsessive chorus, and similarly it is in "Digital Black".
"Inside the Cell" is an instrumental intermezzo preparing for "Stuck", very reminesencing the more electronical NIN, as well as "Cuts", intro for "Devils Paradise", another song possessing well-chosen sounds and vocals, that Garbage and Hole haven't been able to find for a long while any longer.
"Hail" is on the same trail of the previous track, proudly displaying an enduring refrain, set between groovy and melodious moments, before a dilated final, the way a space rock band would love to write, While "B" might be the right single for MTV and stuff, "Showgirl" reveals itself as my fave track, thru its sleazy and slutty gait and a punk/glam ritornello one more time suitable on stage, esp. for a rock crowd.
A tasteful mix Ministry-meets-White Zombie is in my opinion "Todestanz", growing quite close to Rammstein when hearing smart Jacqueline's vocals in German. Then we have "Stripped", a Depeche Mode's cover, to which roaring guitar sounds were added.
I've got very few electronic/EBM/industrial CD's, cos it's difficult I find something really satisfying me, yet when I face compositions like "Deadly", well then I'm happy and I welcome technology with pleasure for it's used in:
a) a rock frame
b) an intelligent, involving and not redundant manner.

"Venus Asleep" - truly mind-disturbing - might be the soundtrack for a David Lynch's new flick, whereas the title-track and the closing one, "Hand in Hand" confirm Otto's Daughter's versatility, able to play different genres, coming out from the firetrial with their heads high.
In conclusion, Uncle Sam's quintet picks up the NIN (and Marylin Manson in a lesser measure) inheritance, by mingling it with small doses of Rock, Pop, punk and genial personal ideas along with a very good singer's skills (also chraming and awful on stage, a true riot grrrl) and charisma not to be underestimated. A further quality is that they manage to be catchy and never too soft or joyful.
I repute it a crime not to have them signed yet, all the more reason cuz they're from the nation giving more chances in the world to this kinda music. Who knows! My grandma was always telling me that in life it's not enough to be clever, you also need be a lucky bastard, cos good luck is blind, tho bad luck has a very sharp sight!...

Jacqueline van Bierk
E-mail: jhod2@aol.com