Hot on the heels of their second release, A Blue Girl, The Joy Thieves have graced us with the Genocide Love Song EP. The blistering title track features long-standing Joy Thief, industrial music legend, and master of prose…the ever versatile Chris Connelly on vocals. In a dynamic adrenaline rush of a promo video, he stands in a room and unabashedly screams the refrain “Mandated fucklord” into the camera right into our faces, making pretty much no secret about the song’s subject as it progresses. “All of your targets are people like us,” he snarls over brutal guitars and a relentless rhythm section, “Your weapon of choice is loaded with falsehood/powered by vengeance, fuelled by disgust.” Line by line, “Genocide Love Song” is an aggressive dismembering of everything wrong with our leaders in the face of this pandemic.
The next three tracks are remixes, showing just how versatile The Joy Thieves can be. “The Badlander (Chib Mix)” is a club-friendly take assembled by Connelly and Milligan, of the single from A Blue Girl. Next up is Howie Beno’s surreal take on “A Blue Girl” called “I Blew A New Girl.” In addition to leading his own cold-wave industrial project 13 mg, Beno is known in the industrial scene as a notable Chicago Trax veteran producer and engineer with Ministry, and has an extensive body of work in other genres including pop (Jonas Brothers, Katy Perry, Dionne Warwick), 80s dance/New Wave (Grace Jones and Blondie) as well as many collaborations including various remixes with Black Asteroid’s Bryan Black. For this remix, he uses a surreal mix of jazz, 80s synth-pop, and, in his words “horror pastiche”. The original song is almost unrecognizable, yet the fluffy synths in the chorus lend something new and interesting.
The last track is “Genocide Love Song (An Inconvenient Mix)”, another Connelly/Milligan creation, containing samples of news reports about the unemployment crisis due to COVID, particularly the line “Inconvenience for some, a death sentence for others”. Under the circumstances, it makes a powerful statement, as the EP is dedicated to the memory of Dan Milligan’s uncle Lonny, who passed away from COVID earlier this month. The album artwork was designed by Dan Milligan’s wife Lauren, who welds metal sculptures (her company is called Worth Steeling).
The Joy Thieves have been all over remixes other artists’ tracks and have always turned them into something refreshingly different that we might not have imagined otherwise, and these remixes deliver even more of that sensibility. There is a lot of power and emotion behind this release, as it came together within a matter of weeks and carries some important messages regarding the state of things today. The strength of collaboration has always been one of the most endearing and enduring qualities of the industrial scene, and The Joy Thieves have captured this spirit and brought us something really special.
Listen to Genocide Love Song here.