There's been a lot of rhetoric surrounding the release of this album. Some journos could not score the album on a scale of 1 to 5. After reading lots of what is written about this record already, I approached with trepidation, as if one listen could change my reality...music will never be the same..my head could explode. I've heard it. Plugged it into my ears on a train from London to Manchester and listened to it whole.
My head remains en tact, my sanity is as it was.
So what has got everyone spooked?? Shaking the Habitual is starkly twisted; bleak at times but I found it altogether fascinating from start to finish. Even the emptiness of Old Dreams Waiting... was sort of interesting but contrasted the rest of the ensemble IMO. Most of the sounds in here reminded me of some early-mid 90's techno (think Laurent Garnier, early CJ Bolland, Luke Slater, Joey Beltram etc.); strange noises intertwined with raging, pulsating beats - but with The Knifes contorted lyricism threaded through the mayhem. Some of the tracks are pure animals - Full of Fire, Stay Out Here, Wrap Your Arms Around, Networking - all spit and lust. Others are reflective and searching or uncompromisingly wierd (Fracking Fluid Injection).
One thing is for absolutely sure, this album is unique and inspired. This is not to say that all people will enjoy Shaking the Habitual, lots of people will struggle to listen. It is mostly a white-knuckle ride from start to finish: some people will come out the other end feeling exhilarated with a beaming smile; others will be dazed, confused and feeling a little ill.
If you like your beats dark, furious, pulsating and twisted - serve this one up. Just be warned - it will not be to everyones taste.
By the way, this was a perfect soundtrack to speeding through the English countryside at 125 mph.