Friday, April 10, 2015

CD Review: Black Sugar Transmission "Violent Muses"


When I first began listening to "Violent Muses" it was fairly cold outside and as I sit here typing this right now it is still cold outside complete with snow on the ground.    The songs reminded me of a lot of sweaty bodies moving within a club and though I'm not sure why looking back at it now but it felt like a sunny weather album to me, such as one that would be released and played loudly in the summer time months.

Now why this is funny to me is because when I used to live in Houston it was summer all the time and living in Connecticut now, sure, this doesn't have the feeling of being holed up in your apartment during a snowstorm but the fact that we have maybe two or three solid months of warmth throughout the year never seems to hinder the involvement of kids dancing in clubs.    So my point is basically that warm weather does not always make warm music and with that it's actually rather refreshing to hear this now because it at least makes me feel like it's not freezing outside.

As much as these electronic rock songs on "Violent Muses" can bring out something like New Order they can also remind me of something more recent such as Head Automatica.    They are melodies and hooks interlaced within drum machine punk synth lasers and an all around dance pop feel.    It is not one of these things- which is how you are probably used to hearing your music- but rather a combination of all of these things.

The lyrics can carry a darker tone to them and as such I do think of this as being somewhat... goth isn't the right word and industrial is more reflective of the style of music but it's kind of like what would happen if Trent Reznor or Marilyn Manson made a pop album.   And you know, this is kind of always something I've wanted to do myself but since I don't possess the musical talent I'm glad it has been done for me and that is to make a pop album with rather depressing lyrics.  

I'm not saying that the two are mutually exclusive but typically the lyrics found on "Violent Muses" would be in a darker sort of context for music or vice versa.     Just imagine something like Madonna in her prime of synthpop with that Cyndi Lauper vibe of "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" but it's a song I can't pinpoint but then imagine the lyrics being Trent Reznor's "Hurt".    Again, it's not something I can accurately portray with mere words but I can give you a general idea.

A song such as "Solitaire" can bring out something modern such as AWOLNATION and yet also have a more direct link to someone like Nine Inch Nails.     It's that grinding sort of synth that borders between making you want to dance and cut somebody with a dull knife.    Though it would be fair to say that about most of these songs and I'm also sure you do both at the same time as well.  Granted, "Solitaire" goes into "God Loves War" which is a dance anthem if I've ever heard one so you might as well just dance.

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