Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Review - The Cathode Ray Syndrome - Argh

The Cathode Ray Syndrome - Argh

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7 out of 10

On their website The Cathode Ray Syndrome have declared a war against cliché, a big task when you consider they're an instrumental rock band - there are few post-rock, post-metal or math-rock bands without a singer who have managed to forge a sound completely their own.

TCRS, who divide their time between Cambridge, Brighton and London, give it a good go though, by mixing all of the above together. They have as much in common with Don Caballero (That noodly, twanging guitar sound) and the bands on Southern Lord (The slow, heavy parts on 'New Rock') as Explosions In The Sky or Pelican.

Opener 'Mexi Canism' beefs up the post-rock sound with heavy drone fuzz in the background and twisted funky rhythms, but still finds moments for glistening beauty. They do fall into the repetition trap of many instrumental bands, but tend to avoid the quiet-to-loud, cathartic build-ups, instead the volume and ferocity tends to dip at random. The cosmic keyboards on 'New Rock' owe something to the BBC Radiophonic Workshop, and the runaway piano adds another dimension to their sound.

'Warning Lid', fortunately the shortest song here, does wander into dull, generic territory, and 'Wait Until Dark' sounds like its ideas have been spread to thinly, but on the whole there's the right mix of rocking out and reflection. The war on cliché hasn't been won quite yet.


1. Mexi Canism
2. New Rock
3. Warning Lid
4. Wait Until Dark

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