Argyle Park - Misguided


Argyle Park's Misguided album used to be pretty difficult to find.  Thankfully, Retroactive Records has changed that by re-issuing this much sought after album. 
Argyle Park is the collaboration of artists from many different bands.  They include Klay Scott (formerly Scott Albert) (Circle of Dust, Brainchild, Celldweller), Buka (former CoD roadie), Tommy Victor (Prong), Jim Thirlwell (Foetus), Marc Salomon (Stavesacre, The Crucified), Jyro (Mortal), Jeff Bellew (The Crucified), and Darren Diolosa (Klank, Circle of Dust).  The band plays a crazy mixture of industrial, metal, and techno.
The main influence here is easily recognizable as Circle of Dust with some Klank, Mortal, and Brainchild influences as well (obviously).  Now, make it danceable and you have Argyle Park.  While this is a good disc and an interesting listen, I can't help but think that this could have been so much better.  The thing is, this album only sometimes reaches the greatness of the albums by Circle of Dust, Brainchild, Klank (at least the first one), The Crucified, and Mortal (at least Lusis and Fathom).  You'd think that with all this talent and with all those great albums in their history they could make something that would blow you mind.  And while this is a quality disc, I can't stop thinking throughout the disc....oh, this could've done this better this way...or they could've done this better that way.  It makes for a very frustrating listen.  After the first listen I was somewhat disappointed.  However, don't does improve a great deal upon multiple listens.  Don't think that my previous negatives in this paragraph are to try and scare you from buying this disc, it's just that I had much higher hopes when I first got this album.  One of the problems is that the aggression shown is just way to "contained".  They rarely ever just cut loose, and when they do, it just doesn't satisfy enough cause it's always way too short.  Maybe I'm disappointed cause I just wish they pushed the metal part of this more instead of the high amount of techno/dance influence.  One thing you can say is, they don't ever get stuck in a rut.  There is a TON of variety on this disc. 
Everybody I know that likes this album says that it has such a dark feel.  I don't really agree there.  While some of the lyrics might be a little harsh, and there is a dark feel in many parts of the album, I think there are many other industrial influenced stuff in my collection that accomplishes a dark feel much more successfully.  Speaking of lyrics, they were apparently misinterpreted by many when this disc first came out.  They seem to convey a lot of anger and bitterness.  However, hope is also portrayed here.  According to the bonus material (which I'll speak of later) the album was a concept disc about a man in Klay and Buka's church that they trusted and who really let them down.  After finding that out, many of the lyrics seem to piece together better and don't seem quite as controversial.
There are some pretty cool songs on this disc, but my favorites are "Headscrew", "Doomsayer" (both featuring Mark Salomon on vocals), "Leave Me Alone", and the fast paced "Violent".
This re-issue also includes some bonus material like some history on the release, Argyle Park trivia, lyrics, and an interview the band had with HM Magazine. Regardless of whether you love the album or not, a big thanks go out to Retroactive for making this available again.   (Review by Matt)