This is a really old review but we must have missed it first time around. Thanks for listening!
Improvised music is, by its very nature, a dangerous art form. There is the ever present threat of meandering off into self gratifying jamming, the potential lack of non-verbal communication between participants, and all sorts of other ego-trips that come into play whenever a group of artists get together to improvise. It’s really an amazing feat that any decent music can be created this way, but when it works it can be a magical experience for musicians and listeners alike. “Burn Kids” is the second release from the Australian collective, The Night of Love, and it displays many of the great and not-so-great features that can define this particular school of experimental music.
The disc starts off on the right foot with the opening track, “Anywhere but the Grave”. It plays to the bands strengths with a keen emphasis on barely audible sounds that actively focus the silence that surrounds them. The track instantly creates a space around itself which feels very closed in and full of a potential to explode at any moment. A dull engine drones in and out of focus as other textural sounds move closer and farther away from the listener, water gurgles in the background, and a massive ripping sound threatens to overtake everything. This piece, along with the second and third tracks displays a level of focus and intent that I find lacking from the second half of the disc.
There are still moments of brilliant, restrained clarity in the later tracks, but they are overshadowed by unfortunate elements like a chaotic percussive approach akin to knocking various objects off of shelves in a garage and atonal melodic explorations that feel uninspired. Add to these elements the general fatigue that sets in after listening to a half hour of free-form music, and I’m left feeling like this should have been an EP rather than a full length affair. This group’s strength is in their focused restraint and they shine brightest in their quietest moments. I’m curious to hear how they develop and further push themselves.
6/10 – Charles Franklin (19 May, 2009)
There’s a review of Crab Smasher‘s Thick Mosquito Sky cassette in issue seventeen of the Negative Guest List zine which comes out of Brisbane and is the best music publication ever.
Since their formation as a solely noise/drone duo in 2002, Crab
Smasher have released a bucket bong full of tapes and CD-R’s. In the
last few years their membership has swelled to include two more
characters, evolving into a band that sounds like they play songs.
Real songs. The improvised recordings on offer here chiefly combine
elements of psych and pop, while still maintaining their familiar
noisy approach. Thick Mosquito Sky lurches into life with the densely
layered “The Dancing Girl And The Burning Town”, before breaking into
the great, almost J Div sounding, post-punk jam, “Europa”. Much of
the second side of Thick Mosquito Sky approaches the same kind of
space-cadet rock that Blank Realm have been leaking out for the last
coupla years. The tracks move from detached ambience into shambolic,
blown-out rock before the side concludes.
This is the best release I’ve heard from Crab Smasher so far, apart
from 2007’s Impossible Monsters 3” (recently re-released). This is
recommended for fans of all things New, Weird and Australian.
Cassettes and downloads still available here.
There is a nice little review of Crab Smasher‘s Thick Mosquito Sky cassette over at Cyclic Defrost.
Wielding guitar, bass, drums, synths, and sampler, the band kicks off Thick Mosquito Sky with the U.S Maple-ish ‘The Dancing Girl And The Burning Town’, thin and blown-out at the same time. It sinks its hooks in quickly, whereas the seven-minute ‘Europa’ is like a noise track slowed to the rate of a blissful IV drip. ‘Deep Water Attack’ is a brief, squishy detour living up to its title, and the tape’s first side ends with ‘Digging A Hole In A Dried Up Lake’, a meek and eventually glistening, watery drone. It’s a bit cosmic and quite pretty, especially at the end.
Read the whole review at
Cassettes and downloads available here.
Shameless self promoters and improv noise divas Crab Smasher have had their latest exploratory music release Thick Mosquito Sky critiqued in a fantastic piece of writing at grindcore music blog Grind and Punishment.
The whole experience slithers around your pineal gland like hypnotic waves of an electronic ocean breaking against a faintly heard shore of traditional instrumentation. The ghost in Crab Smasher’s noise making machines is post-Barrett/pre-Dark Side of the Moon Pink Floyd (think Meddle) being slowly spooled out like a kitten with a ball of yarn, particularly on the stunning, understated and damn near subliminal “Europa,” which creeps up on you over its seven minute running time, building just shy of rocking the fuck out.
Read the whole review here.
Crab Smasher‘s latest release Thick Mosquito Sky has just been reviewed at Mess And Noise. Here is a taste.
Working within the parameters of a fairly standard band set-up, Crab Smasher use guitar, bass and drums alongside an array of synths and electronic effects. What they do with these elements falls somewhere between improvised noise rock and explorative soundscapes. Hunter, Nicholas French, Nathan Martin and Marnie Vaughn have developed the kind of rare musical synergy that comes from spending a lot of time living and making music together without the expectation of making it a career.
Read the whole article here.
Stitched Vision has a sweet new review of his Open Palms Cassette at Mess And Noise.
Jason Campbell’s spacious synth arpeggios are awash in a viscous hum that feels like passing through a bleak environment while cocooned in the safety of a vehicle. It’s disarmingly calming music, given the way Campbell’s minimalist synth melodies soundly weather a storm that only occasionally threatens to endanger.
Read the whole article Here.
Polyfox And The Union Of The Most Ghosts received a bit of a write up at pretty decent Newcastle based music blog GUTTURAL, following his recent performance at the Croatian Club.
First up was the lovable scamp Nick French, who under the guise of Polyfox and the Union of Most Ghosts, is Newcastle’s preeminent purveyor of hypnagogic pop. Or something. There’s a dreamlike quality to French’s songs, which haphazardly combine Durutti Column-like guitars, manipulated Nintendo DS sounds, and softly spoken banter, with newly found vocals buried low in the mix. His songs are playful and yet, through the wonders of repetition, tinged with a sad nostalgia. Polyfox look set to soon become more of a band set-up and it will be interesting to see whether this will significantly flesh out the miniature pop-hits that remain hidden to the casual listener.
Read the whole article here.
I’m One Of An Odd Family is a neato new music fanzine coming out of Melbourne. Their 2nd issue is out now and features a great article on Crab Smasher‘s Serie Una Die Collaborazione which is still available from Lesstalk Records or as a digital download here.
The whole album sounds like, if these sounds could’ve been made back then, a soundtrack to a 1920’s d-grade silent science fiction film. Fantastic. There are parts throughout that I could definitely fall asleep to, Track 4 drops right away into a pretty hypnotic trance like state then track 5, the complete opposite. Harsh, on the ear, dissolving electronics but then turning into beauty. They are constantly suprising.
You can read the whole article if you order an issue here or maybe you can pick up a copy at your local zine or music shop.
Melbourne-based electronic / acoustic duo Go Genre Everything (aka Jen Tait and Zach Von Bamburger) have previously appeared on the ‘New Weird Australia Vol.1′ compilation, and this CDR EP release on Monstera Deliciosa ‘GELF’ collects together three tracks taken from a single improvised live performance at The Cesspool in Newcastle during October 2008. Given the proximity of the date, I’m inclined to think that the TINA festival was also involved here. From the very outset, it’s certainly very difficult to pigeonhole what’s going on here, in terms of style. Spanning twenty minutes in length, the first untitled track opens amidst a vaguely psychedelic wash of what sounds like delayed-out flutes and recorder, before wandering off into menacing (and at points piercing) horror movie keys. Thankfully, things soon enter more calm waters with even the noise of squeaky toys being briefly deployed at one point, though it’s something of a false rise to the surface before things get dragged back down into menacing droning ambience, the sickly sound of slowed down orchestral tones and swelling feedback sliding against the occasional stray chime, to sinister effect.
In contrast to the childlike, playful aesthetic in evidence on the first track, the second 15 minute long track here sees things headed straight down into gritty darkness, as skittering, electronically treated rhythmic textures slowly unfurl around dark, buzzing synth drones, howling distant guitar feedback and bleeping background electronics, but in this case it’s the emergence of deliberately naively played xylophones and straining recorders towards the second half that rescues things from complete bleakness. Finally, the final track here offers something of a brief outro coda at just under three minutes in length, with its recorder duet coming across as part campfire song, part lullaby, as well as being what’s easily this EP’s most immediately accessible and ‘coherent’ moment. There’s certainly traces of the Lucky Dragons’ improvisational performance approach to be found here, but with the three live tracks here Go Genre Everything succeed in existing in a zone of their own No Wave meets drone / psyche /noise making.
Read the review at Cyclic Defrost.
GELF is available to buy here.
Crab Smasher‘s Impossible Monsters 3″ CDR from back in 2007 is perhaps the most valued treasure in the Crab Smasher catalogue, it’s certainly their most popular album if you believe these last.fm statistics. But oh no! it’s now completely sold out and out-of-print. Sure you could give your money to iTunes or pay some clueless scumbag on eBay, but why bother? To save you the hassle we’ve secured the rights to release a brand new 5″ CDR reisue! We’re not going to con you with dodgy bonus tracks or remastering, sonically it’s exactly the same, but now like never before you can play it in your iMac or your car. Whoopee! $8 PP
1. I Am Error
2. Killing With Kindness
3. The Moon Rattled Inside Her
4. A Sad Day For Everybody
5. It Took a drop of blood to break the witches spell
7. Ring Out Your Great Bells in Victory
8. You Don’t Have to Shout When the Sun Comes Out