Crippled Black Phoenix - 200 Tons of Bad Luck
"I hate Pink Floyd!" spat Mr Rotten, although the reality was that many of the punk pioneers secretly liked the odd bit of prog noodling, although were perhaps less enamoured with the bloated and decadent industry in which it flourished. There's no danger of thinking Crippled Black Phoenix spend their spare time setting fire to hippies: they love a bit of the Floyd. And not just at weekends.
This CD is a slimmed-down version of two seperate releases, but even still there's a lot to take in. The band (or more strictly collective, with its ever-changing line-up) have crafted a project that might appeal not just to modern day proggers, but also those with a penchant for post-rock and there are even moments characteristic of Tom Waits or Arcade Fire.
Fire up that fat one. Opener 'Burnt Reynolds' sets the scene, with its Gilmour-esque licks and mournful vocals. 'Rise Up And Fight' is a real nodder by comparison. 'Time Of Ye Life' ropes in Evel Knieval for some homespun wisdom over Mogwai chimes. The sawing cello of 'Crossing The Bar' suggests those firey Canadians for a minute or two before suddenly switching to the melancholy of Yann Tiersen. '444' is all eastern melodies via QotSA. By the time 'A Hymn For A Lost Soul' comes around you'll be packing your carpetbag and heading west for a spot of that old time religion.
And so it continues. This is an album that will seep out from under the door of your older brother - along with smoke from a 'joss stick'. All of a sudden the music you've been listening to seems terribly juvenile in comparison.
Music for grown ups. Grown ups who know how a knife to the heart feels.