Youth Code's sophomore foray into industrial EBM, Commitment to Complications, sees the Los Angeles-based duo tightening their vision into a more cohesive manifesto.
Youth Code may draw frequent comparisons to major influences Nine Inch Nails, but without Reznor's preference for pop hooks, their hearts beat closer to earlier industrial pioneers like Skinny Puppy, Front Line Assembly, and Front 242.
On Commitment, they bulk up their muscle and focus their ideas more than on their debut, which was more of a litmus test than declaration of intent.
At times, like on the appropriately titled "Glass Spitter," her wild yells demand attention with martial brutality, much like contemporaries 3teeth.
Elsewhere, like on the terrifying "Avengement," it sounds like Taylor is painfully exsanguinating through her throat.
That raw gremlin growl creeps in and out, adding a disconcerting energy to each track.
To balance her vocals, George provides an electronic pulse that invites an instinctual need to move.
The blazing "Transitions" and the "March of the Pigs" staccato of the title track inspire body-moving as much as they encourage body-slamming, while the aggro-new wave of "Doghead" and the throbbing "Anagnorisis" are borderline sensual.
By imbuing the abrasive with unexpected effects and washes, Youth Code manage to generate an album that is more of a journey than simply an 11-song assault of hard beats and harsh grating screams.
This marriage is clearest on both "Lacerate Wildly," which peppers Taylor's demonic croak over a swelling digital squall, and the icy epic closer, "Lost at Sea." Commitment to Complications demonstrates clear growth from the former hardcore kids, establishing Youth Code as a distinctive duo instead of merely a derivative tribute to their influences.