The Cathode Ray Syndrome* - Use Forgotten Tools

It's one of the most professional-looking demos I've seen in a while, given what we have here is quite clearly a home job. The insert is all orange cardboard with a simple black line drawing on the front and a monochrome photocopy of trees on the back cover with the track listing.

There are seven tracks on here, running to almost thirty minutes in length and we open with a nice little swear-filled sample over a tinny drum machine beat that the track builds up until the band are all playing and the sample has dropped out. This is 'angular' stuff, lots of quiet-loud changes, with large distorted sweeps of hardcore guitars interspersed with delicate three-instrument interplay. While it would be easy to compare them to early Mogwai, the loud parts aren't the sort of full-on wall of noise distortion the Scottish lads are famed for and CRS*'s beats are far more complex, drifting toward the mathrock area.

If you're already dismissing this as music for musicians then don't: Unlike some, the Cathode Ray Syndrome* know what a meldody is how to use it. These pieces will stick in your head. As a recording, the sound is honest and lacks any obvious production gimmicks, much like Slint's Spiderland or Shellac's at Action Park, and the the tracks flow over and into each other, drawing you pleasantly through the album's length.

If CRS* are playing near you any time soon then take the opportunity to catch them. Meanwhile you can download track 2 "The War Against Cliché" from their website and contact them directly if you want to get hold of a copy.



out of 10
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