The domestic release of two records by Armageddon Dildos is the only fruit, and bitter at that, of Sire’s licensing agreement with German techno label Zoth Ommog. Under the guidance of Bigod 20’s Talla 2XLC, Zoth Ommog’s exported releases had a big influence on the American post-house underground club scene of the late ’80s, taking sterility to new dancefloor highs. Homicidal Dolls, however, verges on both the cold precision of German techno and the well-trodden path of Belgian industrial exemplified by Front 242. The Kassel duo’s main asset is singer Uwe Kanka, whose strong voice croons through Dirk Krause’s frantic beats, providing the songs with their only semblance of melody.
Lost is a stronger, but still not terribly original, mix of guitars, processed rhythms and pop melodies. The chilly club sound that characterized the group’s earlier work is subsumed by guitars that run along the Ministry/Nine Inch Nails corridor. Not as endearingly harsh as either of those two bands, but more adept at the transition than later Depeche Mode, Lost is a reasonably enjoyable mixed bag. (But mope-rock fans would do well to skip the seething version of Morrissey’s “Everyday Is Like Sunday.”)