Atari Teenage Riot positioned themselves as one of the innovators of digital hardcore in the early to mid-90s but by the year 2000, the group split up having released only three albums. The group reunited last year and Is This Hyperreal? represents the group’s first new album since the reformation.
The group has always been angry. They were formed out of anger for neo-Nazi sentiments in the German industrial scene. Their album, The Future of War was a critique of modern high-tech wars. Is This Hyperreal? is a blatant critique of today’s oversharing, internet driven society.
at first, it struck me as odd that this album was being promoted to me, a blogger who vehimental promotes himself on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. On “Rearrange Your Synapses,” Nic Endo rants “the internet is blackhole that sucks up our time, creativity, and friendships.” But the more I listen to the track, it became apparent that ATR are not against social media but are rather very cautious about it. Endo goes on to say “not such a good idea to use traces and expose your whole network at once.” This type of digital fingerprint is something that many people do not worry about but ATR seems to be preaching awareness.
For the most part, Is This Hyperreal? is pure preaching. The preaching ranges from these internet issues to the group’s old anti-war stomping grounds. Ultimately the listeners outlook on the album will depend on their political perspective and their ability to be yelled at about politics for 45 minutes. For me, it became a little too abrasive.
MP3: Atari Teenage Riot “Rearrange Your Synapses”