Wednesday, October 22, 2014

New Creatures - Media Brainwash CD

Smog Veil is stepping out of its own self-set parameters for this one! The New Creatures hail from the Dayton, Ohio area. Dayton is only a hop and a skip from where I live near Cincinnati, Ohio. My local cable provider gives me BOTH Cincinnati news and channels schemes, as well as those for Dayton. Dayton is an exceptional place. 

New Creatures - Media BrainwashIt’s odd to the tenth power. I can’t really go into it all in full-length, but just this past week here, United States Marines have held their second of three exercises training them for urban combat. These exercises are held in close proximity to populations in abandoned buildings like old schools, old factories, and such, but while the newscasters will film the happenings from afar, there’s normal everyday traffic whizzing by on the roads and train tracks like nothing’s happening. There seems to be a whole feeling of pride on the newscaster’s faces when they talk about the Marines. I’m not sure that the marines choosing Dayton to do a thing like this is a compliment. I figure that in order to train for urban combat in a ‘third world’ country like Iraq (or whatever the kids are calling it these days) you have to find a like battleground. The United States Marines found one in Dayton!!!! You see? All these exercises left me looking at Dayton as an oil-bearing mid-east country. Dayton-Arabia!!! Well, it’s shit like this which molds people and their books and their poems and, believe it or not, their bands!!! The New Creatures are products of Dayton, Ohio and it shows. This CD is teeming with mid-western desperation. Early 80’s killed by death hardcore punk style! Balls to the walls!!!! The recording tech might have promised them Marshall Stacks to record with but it’s working with what you got that gives bands like The New Creatures an edge. Truly neoteric!!! The New Creatures remind me a lot of Toxic Reasons, but are closer to another band that I hold dear to my heart, Unnatural Axe! Media Brainwash has that same sort of dark and ominous dischordian angst that The Axe have on "They Saved Hitler’s Brain". Horror-punk!!! In fact, Media Brainwash sorta plays like a second LP by Toxic Reasons more so than Toxic Reasons’ second LP or a long lost Unnatural Axe release!!! There are a couple really intense winner tracks that I have to point out. One is the sing-a-long "Social Structures", the next is the title track "Media Brainwash", and last but not least is "Tension". Tight tracks!!! Tight indeed! I’m glad I got this CD. It’s good; worth the price I would say, for CDs nowadays.... In all my adventures (and believe me you, I have had some adventures in Dayton!) I never even heard of The New Creatures. This CD was eye opening and a treat to hear. I’m awaiting more. FEED ME. 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Crimson Sweet - Livin’ in Strut CD

Crimson Sweet | Livin' In StrutHere it is. Quite possibly one of the best bands I have ever witnessed. Their full-length at last!!!! My life has meaning.

Livin’ in Strut!!!! Indeed! Strut indeed!!!!

I’m really excited about this release. Strut has been just under a year in the making and it was well worth it. On Strut you have a Crimson Sweet that is DIFFERENT, but not too far removed from what they started out with oh so long ago. Strut in my opinion represents a FINE TUNED Crimson Sweet. The car ran FINE before, but now it’s beating everything on the street. Get it?

Strut plays like a live Crimson Sweet set, but in all its FINE TUNED glory still fails to capture the Sweet live.... That’s not a bad thing either. I mean, FUCK! This is a studio release. The studio is a place for venturing. The first thing you will notice about Strut is the quality! I mean, it sounds AMAZING. Added extract too. Piano here. There. Guitar effects. Right-on-the-money backing vocals. I never thought any past recordings were questionable or anything, but they have still out done themselves. Strut represents a comfortableness. It’s like Crimson Sweet have finally reached a point where they talk in each others minds. It’s like this time, when they set about to record Strut, they knew what they had to do and they done it!
Completion. Ultimateness.

Ultimateness indeed!!!!

The CD starts off like their live set, with a cover. "Hello New York". Well, I was told this is a cover. I never have heard the original, but really, Crimson Sweet make it their own. Another sign of a good, (no, dare I say?) GREAT band (dont believe me? See Blister Pop by The Embarrassment)!!! After its end you are treated to three new back to back songs, "Shandon Celebrity", "Still Glistening" and yet one more atom bomb of a song, "Airport Novel". On these songs I was taken back. Crimson Sweet truly are Neoteric Titans, with a sound bigger than life and a melody stronger than the toughest metal... Crimson Sweet are the epitome of The Neoteric Punk/Wave for no other reason than they consume my every ounce of attention. I see no wrong. I see no mistake. I see nothing that I would change. This is a rare quality. Crimson Sweet are a rare band. There’s a lot of buzz about NYC right now. The Strokes. Interpol. Those bands are good. I really like both, but you know what? The combined force of both is nothing compared to Crimson Sweet’s hit points.

Next up are newly recorded versions of "So Electric" and "No Hot On Cold". Both of these songs were released as Crimson Sweet’s latest single from their own fledgling label, Slow Gold Zebra. Apparently on their last tour this single sold like fucking ambrosia. They dropped about 200 copies while on tour. They were looking at a possible repress by time they returned from that tour, and I’m only guessing because I don’t stay in constant communication with this band; I figure they have better things to waste their time talking to a hayseed like me. But I would dare to say that it didn’t see a repress after all. I don’t know that for a fact, but I am making an educated guess. Duly noted though: I don’t consider myself educated, and my past has led me to believe I am not smart at all... I bet the decision to re-record these songs made that single a collectors item. The new version of "So Electric" has a slower tempo but the production quality, which brings out that piano I mentioned earlier, is pretty damn great sounding. It really rounds out the song and gives it some extra touch. The new version of "No Hot On Cold" introduces you to how the song should really sound. Don’t get the wrong impression, "No Hot On Cold" was really a hard hitter on the single, but it was still B side material. On Strut, "No Hot On Cold" is hotter sounding. More decadent. More angular. Most importantly, it’s more sonic-aerosol, leaving you gasping for more.

Then.... two unreleased songs. "White Heat" and "California Split". Two songs that I believe really capture Crimson Sweet at their best. "White Heat" is a slower, more melodic tune. Despite the lack of a lyric sheet, Rooster Booster really bends your mind when she sings "Twin suns...". Hot damn!!!! Twin suns INDEED! I dream of a place where there are twin suns. This song, coupled with "California Split", is the zenith of modern emotions. It lends a soundtrack to this dull and gray world we all live in. It captures with music what it means to go one step past where you been. Onward. Something like this isn’t an easy thing to do. Recognizing what’s around you is one thing. Writing its soundtrack is another.

The next two songs are re-recorded versions of previously released material. Some of you might think this is some sort of trick because if you are like me, you own these songs on other releases. Your not being tricked though, your being treated! You see, what Crimson Sweet are giving us is something rare. They just aren’t PLAYING AT US with their releases and at their live performances. They are PLAYING WITH US! We are alongside of them! We are with them! We all walk single file, holding hands behind them. What they feel, we feel. After listening to Strut I told the On/On Switch Commanders that they should feel lucky a band like Crimson Sweet even deals with them. I consider myself lucky to know such great people myself.... Anyway, the versions of "I Want to Live" and "Queen City VA" are fiery as one might have imagined, hitting you with the force of a mile wide asteroid. The impact leaves no crater, only the shaken truths of sonic misconceptions. What THEY have been doing has been drastically set off course.

With Crimson Sweet we will take it back! Crimson Sweet are my Neoteric Virus.

Last song. Something different for The Sweet: an instrumental. Now a lot of you will know that I’m not a big fan of instrumentals. But sometimes bands can do them right. It’s how a band looks at their instrumentals really. "Sad Walk at Knifepoint" isn’t a song, it’s sonic-art!!!! It’s inspiring. Capturing. It sets about imagery in my head. Gives me thoughts. Gives me feelings. Once again Crimson Sweet impress. Levels, hours. Days, eons past where they left you, Crimson Sweet take you farther.

Fans of Wipers take note. Livin in Strut plays like Greg Sage himself produced this release....
Crimson Sweet. What’s left to say? I can’t even answer that. I feel honored to them for making me feel like we really are in this shit together. Good things for Crimson Sweet, because they deserve it. I look to the future and what it holds with Crimson Sweet touring in support of this CD and I get a little bit mad. Where Crimson Sweet are going, where they could go; it’s miles away from where I am. It’s not like they are going straight to MTV or anything, but I see them in places around people that haven’t been in the trenches with them, like most of us have. I hate to say this, but it’s humanity here: I feel as though some people don’t deserve Crimson Sweet. I wish I could set myself up as some sort of tester to hand out applications for Crimson Sweet fan base APPROVAL or something, but you know and I know that this is totally wrong on MANY different levels. Something like that isn’t what it’s all about. Crimson Sweet are just not my band. They are not anyone’s band. But in some ways, they can be EVERYONE’S band.

Just not anyone, or EVERYONE, deserve this band. But, if anyone can really CHANGE the shape of THINGS to come and that have been, it’s Crimson Sweet. Take Neoteric Punk/Wave and go far. Behind enemy lines. Clandestine insurrections. There they go.... I don’t want to call it a suicide mission, but I do wish I was dead.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Digital Block- Installment Seven. Part 3 of 4

i i i

Whats my stance on the war with Iraq? Well, I dont really want to go into it now. I dont think its too safe to, but anyway, i want to share with you a lil’ somethin-somethin I came up witht he oter day while Ms, Communication and I were watching the news after a day at work. its funny. Onion-type funny really but more importantly, it makes reading newspapers about the iraq ‘problem’ bearable.

But you must understand my concept of entertainment.

I am a product of the 80’s. I can fight it all I want but I bore easily and Im spoiled translating into the fact that I MUST constantly be entertained. If I find a situation un-entertaining, I will find soemthing, some observation or whatever to MAKE it entertaining. This helps me not fall asleep at my work. About 7AM every morning I begin formulating my ‘Daily Thought’ of which will keep my mind active for the better part of the day.

I write some song lyrics.

I hum.

I people-watch my fellow employees.

All kinds of shit.

Well, Ms. Communication and I BOTH find this whole Iraq thing BORING. We were watching CNN. Just before a commercial brake we both heard the newscaster mention Tony Blairs report on Iraq weapons and that "Iraq has a weapon that can destroy the world in 45 minutes". of course the guy read his cue card wrong.... Saddam Husein is good, but man, THAT good?

By time the commercial brake was over Ms. Communication and I had drew up the comparative that Iraq is to Cobra (you know, from the old GI Joe cartoon from the 80s) as Cobra Commander is to Saddam Hussein. President Bush is to Duke what The United States is to GI Joe!!!!

When reading, or watching news reports on the looming war, replace every mention of Iraq with COBRA. Replace COBRA COMMANDER with Iraq. DUKE with President Bush. And last but not least, UNITED STATES with GI JOE!!!! Stuff like this is going to make this new war a BLAST!!!!

So I go to work and tell everyone there. most dont think its very funny. one co-worker mentioned the fact that Saddam husein, or Cobra Commander, as his weapons hidden all over the desert. I told him that actually he has a gigantic fortress that loosly resembles a pyramid that rises and sinks below the desert at whim. He keep all his secret wepons like his HISS TANKS and shit in there. It rumbles up, launches some missles and a few jets, them rumbles back underneath the sand and hides itself.

"Really?" asked the co-worker. "...It all makes sense!" he said.

"Yeah" I responded.

Ironically enough, guess my favorite aspect of the GI Joe cartoon. Guess who I usually rooted for in all the battles..... I should just stop there. I already said too much.