Sonny Kay has always had a knack for finding jazz-trained drum geniuses to help him push the boundaries of hardcore, and then relying on them to carry his esoteric projects. With Subpoena the Past, however, Kay makes the mistake of opting instead for drum machines behind his electronic dabbling. But he manages to salvage the whole affair by programming the machines creatively and by taking some helpful advice from the percussive pioneers of Helios Creed. Lyrically, Subpoena the Past traverses the same weird expanses that Kay has made his name on, but the 34-second track “Last Year’s Ghost” (“Are my reflexes so far removed/That my engineer’s touch was a/Shoe-in for proven?/I was bringing back something for you/That a few souvenirs couldn’t do/But I stopped moving”) provides the only example of the distinctive wail that marked his previous projects. The three instrumental songs on This Year’s Eclipse are vaguely reminiscent of Bauhaus’ gothic stylings or Ministry’s early industrial mood pieces, which is to say not particularly groundbreaking. Still, Kay updates the creepy genre with a post-hardcore perspective, which he must have learned from the drummers in his own past, inserting chaotic rhythm breaks that most of the best innovators in electronic music have yet to get a grip on.;Colin Bane

More from WCP