You’re not likely to hear Nitzer Ebb on the radio — not even now that fellow industrial-music acts like Ministry and Nine Inch Nails have hammered their way onto MTV. It’s not that Nitzer Ebb aren’t good — they’re one of the best in their brooding genre — but that they’re less into grooving with the nihilistically chic and more into making music that’s truly threatening. Over the years, this two-man British group, Douglas McCarthy and Bon Harris, has changed its tune — or bite — from drill-in-your-head minimalism to full-blown, orchestrated mayhem. Ebbhead, their fourth album released in the U.S., punctures your eardrums with high-register pulses and pulverizing bass. It’s a grand, mad sound that drives home lyrics about human depravity, whether in a twisted mind (”I Give to You”), the Middle East (”Reasons”), or the heart of a Chicago mobster (”Family Man,” their current club hit). Unlike the washed-out dance successes of today, from Euro-rap to alternative pop, Nitzer Ebb pumps out industrial rhythm that’s really industrial strength. B+

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