Like industrial monolith Nine Inch Nails, Orange County, Calif.'s Hate Dept. embraces computer technology and synthesizers on "Technical Difficulties," their third album. Tangible bass, drums, keyboards and guitar crash into a wall of punishing machine-made beats.
The keyboard interplay of opening track "Superdrama" mesmerizes. "Release It," the album's first single, is a suggestive carnal chant. "Little Let Down" pulses from slow to fast. Parts of the sobering "Coming Down" bear resemblance to NIN's "Down in It" while maintaining Hate Dept.'s own brand of rage. The band sacrificed two years of its life for an album saturated with aggressive textures. The result? A near-perfect blend of man and machine.