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Porn – The Last of a Million

Taken from their newest album release The Darkest of Human Desires – Act II, Porn’s latest single “The Last of a Million” is a new benchmark in the French industrial goth four piece’s hard-hitting musical journey. Porn couples an uncompromising musical approach with a surprising artistic touch – this song is never sound and fury signifying nothing. There is a fierce intelligence underlying the track. The intelligence comes through in the careful orchestration of dynamics powering the song; the dramatic shifts between the verses and instrumental interludes are effective without relying on standard tropes like guitar solos. The musicians behind Porn are definitely talented and do not need solo spotlights to prove their skills. Instead, the focus is on the song alone and it makes for a much more satisfying listening experience.

Alternating between musical flourishes and uncluttered verses is another element of dynamics separating Porn’s music from the vast majority of the pack. Despite their edgy musical and lyrical presentation, Porn has masterful control of songwriting fundamentals while still infusing the single with ample atmospherics and a palpable sense of dread. The lyrics aren’t always decipherable, often buried in the mix, but when the vocal comes across unburdened by production touches, it reveals another layer of intelligence defining “The Last of a Million”. Porn is far more than a gimmick band – even the theatrical element of their presentation makes sense in the larger context of the song rather than being an arbitrary feature pandering for attention.

SPOTIFY: https://open.spotify.com/album/7JENlv8RaGZlqXKXlEa5SX?si=4RGrFbGBRJiRkf1913HTCg

The band’s lead singer Philippe Deschemin, aka Mr. Strangler, shines on vocals, but the band offers sympathetic accompaniment illustrating their own deep understanding of the material. The aforementioned lack of a guitar solo isn’t something a lot of listeners will miss because the band invokes mood with such precision. There isn’t a single wasted word or note in the song’s construction – “The Last of a Million” often comes off as a song the band harbored a defined vision for before ever committing to a recording. The confidence you hear in this performance is unmistakable and makes it all the more enjoyable.

The moody music video accompanying the song’s release further enhances the track. It is full of evocative imagery, never overstressed, and incorporates the band’s music in an effective fashion without ever allowing the visuals to dominate your attention. The professionalism of the video is another positive quality working in the video’s favor and the physicality you hear in the band’s music comes through as well. It fits in nicely with the overarching storyline of Mr. Strangler, a prolific serial killer, and strikes an appropriately dark note without ever overwhelming viewers and listeners.

Labeling this six minute plus track as industrial goth doesn’t do justice to its achievement. “The Last of a Million” is much more than a traditional genre entry and never pursues hamfisted ends to make its musical point. Instead, Porn show why they are one of the most capable bands today working with intelligent and well-conceived material and bodes well for the overall merits of their album release The Darkest of Human Desires – Act II.

Loren Sperry

About Michael Stover

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