Crippled Black Phoenix :: 200 Tons of Bad Luck

Written by on February 18, 2010 in February 18, 2010, Music Reviews - Comments Off on Crippled Black Phoenix :: 200 Tons of Bad Luck

Label: Invada

Crippled Black PhoenixProg rock and post rock have in some ways travelled along similar lines, but in different time frames. Prog was an early 70’s genre, bred out of post psychedelia. Post rock came out of post punk/new wave of the late 70’s. early 80’s and developed through the late 80’s into the 90’s. However what links them is an attitude to produce music that pushes the boundaries of “standard rock” into some form of art rock. Strangely, both have rarely co-joined. The reason for that is probably more to do with attitude. It’s that prog vs. punk thing again. Imagine Labradford jamming in the garage with Godspeed You Black Emperor!, on a bunch of classic Pink Floyd tunes, and you’re going some way towards understanding what this awesome album sounds like. Quite simply, this is an absolutely stunning work of art that repays repeated plays and makes you realise that much of what passes for modern music is derivative and uninvolving. Over the course of 77 minutes ‘Crippled Black Phoenix’ take you on an aural journey like little else I can remember in recent times. The music is progressive without being pompous, post-rock without being boring, sombre without being depressing and at times almost impossible to pin down. Critics have complained that there is just too much going on here and that the band need to focus their attention, and their sound, but I reckon that it’s this unfocussed approach which is at the root of their greatness. All great art should be self-indulgent and this marvellous album certainly follows that template. It has to be said that this is not music that you can stick on in the background whilst you do something else. Rather, it cries out for your undivided attention, holding you in its thrall until the last notes fade away. This is an album of great and rare beauty, and trying to single out highlights is almost impossible, but try the opening three tracks; as good a thirty four minutes of music as you’re likely to come across this year. This is beautiful and deep music which really has something to say. I cannot recommend this album highly enough.

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