If Marilyn Manson and Orgy had a lovechild, it would be Professional Murder Music.
The California quartet with a hip-hop name mixes electronic and nu-metal into a surprisingly polished sound on its self-titled Geffen records debut. The group is the brainchild of vocalist/guitarist Roman Marisak and bassist Jeff Shartoff -- Ozzfest side-stage veterans who broke off from their previous bands and added guitarist Brian Harrah and drummer Justin Bennett.
The first single, "Slow" -- a different version of the song which appeared on the End of Days soundtrack-- is an electronic speed ballad reminiscent of early Nine Inch Nails, and comes off as a well-crafted and well-played track. For a vocalist in an electronic nu-metal band, Marisak has a melodic voice; he does not resort to screaming or whispering. In a time when it seems like all any band wants to do is scream and stomp, it is refreshing to hear someone actually sing.
"Fall Again," the second track on the album, is haunting and slow and using electric guitars on top of synth beats -- here, PMM moves in a totally different direction from the opening track, proving they are not a one-song band. Other tracks move in and out of different electronic styles, keeping the album fresh.
The lyrics on Professional Murder Music are also different from the usual electronic rock standard; they are not merely "I hate everything and screw you," which usually proliferate on these kinds of albums.
This record is what nu-metal and electronic rock should be like. It is devoid of pointless screaming, stupid lyrics, and annoying whispers. Marisak and the band takes elements from other bands, refines them, and makes them their own. All in all, it makes for a surprisingly good debut record.