There is no shortage of pounding old school EBM music coming out of Sweden. Restricted Area return to the arena with ‘Wear & Tear Extended Play’ EP. It’s hard to believe Restricted Area have been around for nearly 20 years already. I remember when I first heard them back in 2000 during the Life Is Painful era. I thought there was a lot of promise, but ultimately forgot about them until ‘Core Excess’ 2CD reintroduced me to the band. When I listened to disc 1 ‘Core Excess’ I was a little taken back on the direction Restricted Area took with this more emotional & softer approach. Only a few songs peeked my interest. They redeemed themselves with disc 2 ‘Underdog’ which returned to the old school roots I knew them for.
So………………………. “Wear & Tear Extended Play” picks up right where ‘Underdog’ left off including some remixed tracks from that disc. It is all about the old school pounding. The remixes of “Slacker” and “Weapon” straight up smash you in the face with the furious bass-lines, pounding beats and shouted vocals. “When It Comes Around” is another track taken from ‘Core Excess’. It should have stayed there. There was no need to include this on this EP. It fits in as filler. “Suicide”, “The End” & “Greed” stay on target with the remixes of “Slacker” & “Weapon” with their fast beats and rough shouted vocals. “M.O.L. 5” & “Friend” are nice tracks that slow down a bit. The vocalist fits the EBM style very well, but the more melodic attempts are just plain and unsatisfying to the listener (at least this one). I get the feeling he wants to go in another direction. We heard that direction on ‘Core Excess’.
This EP gives you 11 tracks. 8 are very strong and embody everything you would expect from old school EBM and then some. 2 songs are okay and 1 is filler. 4 tracks are remixes from ‘Core Excess’ as well as “When It Comes Around” was also part of ‘Core Excess’. Not much as far as new material, but it is an EP. I really hope this is a sign of what is to come from Restricted Area. I can’t sit through ‘Core Excess’ again. Lets hope for more EBM aggression from Restricted Area.
I did rate this a 6.5. I could easily give it a 7.0 and would have if they left off “When It Comes Around”.