Thursday, 8 May 2014

The problem with Crippled Black Phoenix is every new album needs approaching likes its a new band (which invariably it is !)

And so to the latest White Light Generator which bizarrely starts off with what seems to be a Cliff Richard outtake from the late 50's The two part No! soon brings back the Floyd influences and crashing percussion.

From then on it's bleakness all the way - track titles like Lets Have an Apocalypse and You'll Be Murdered give you the idea. I can't say I particularly like the new vocalist  and there is no light relief to be had with the music whereas in the past there's been a Journey cover or Vic Reeves sample

Northern Comfort would be the stand out track with some middle eastern female vocals added some much needed colour

CBP seem to produce some truly amazing albums, I Vigilante or No Sadness Or Farewell and  followed them up with a lesser effort such this album or Mankind the Crafty Ape (I know I gave it a great review but it didn't stand up to repeated plays). If the pattern plays out again then the next album will be something to behold

There's been a lot to review recently and yet somehow I still haven't got round to it......

So lets start with the new self titled album from the Smoke Fairies. I approached this album with more trepidations than any of their previous albums - new label and a indifferent first single weren't good signs

The vinyl goes on for the first spin and the first thoughts are where are the guitars ? Opening track  We've Seen Birds is quite poppy in its chorus and not to my liking..... The single Eclipse Them All burns slow behind some ominous organ but doesn't seem to go anywhere. After side 1 it's looking like the end of the love affair with the Fairies

Over to side 2 and Misty Visions suddenly grabs tightly hold of your loins. All skittish rhythms, crashing guitars riffs and a lustful lyric and you forgive side 1 already..... The guitars are back for Koto which is the album highlight, a slow building tale of casual sex in an out of season seaside fun fair - It's the flip side to the Dire Straits song, Tunnel of love.

After a couple of listens there is a lot more depth to the album. The guitars are there but used sparingly. This really is an album for headphones as something new reveals itself on each listen. Even Eclipse Them All is hiding some chiming chords

So far none of the Smoke Fairies albums have sounded too similar to each other (though Drinks and Dancing harks back to the debut), so embrace the new and invest some time in these tunes