Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Cassette Review: [P-G] "LA CÚSPIDE DEL FRACASO" (Crass Lips Records)

The more that I listen to music from Crass Lips Records, the more I begin to see that it is not going to be easy to figure out.    From Puerto Rico, [P-G] have a variety of sounds and while they can all be linked together by common threads I can't recall hearing them altogether like this before.   It is almost as if this is three different artists in one, but again, [P-G] can tie the sounds together in ways that keep you on the right track.

When I press play the first sound I really hear come out on this cassette is that of dark, electronic rock.   It's the type of sound that you can build an entire body of music on.   It can be described as many things, but a lot of the terms most recognizable would include "industrial".   Perhaps the most well known band I can compare this with is Rammstein because it has that "Du Hast" feel to it.   Metal fans are going to be able to pick up other influences that only other metal fans will know about and, again, this is a portion of the cassette as a whole but could still give any other artist in comparison a lesson in how it's done.

Buzzing drone switches us over to the second phase of this cassette, a mostly instrumental one.   Through the sounds of radio stations being changed and someone talking in an audio clip manner, this is still dark.   It has a boiler room feel to it, where it can get screechy, sharp.   There are other artists I have heard who can go to this place and there might even be a name for it in some subgenre somewhere that I don't know about (somewhere between dark ambient and dark electronic I'd guess), but it is also somewhat minimal as well.

Before we hit the end of the first side, we go back to singing.   The singing is a higher pitch now than on the first track and it's got a different rhythm to it.   There is this drudging and drum claps.   Sci-li laser whirrs come out as well.  In a sense, the music can get these big drums and become hollow, grinding and not too much unlike Nine Inch Nails on some level.   This is where we hit what I like to call "Sound 2.5" because it's not quite the same as the second but also not to the third yet.   No, the sound here is more of a combination of the first two sounds.   It's somewhere in between that metal band and an experimental dark electronic abyss.

Side B is when we turn into the third and final sound on this cassette.   I'd say this has evolved throughout the entire time but it feels more like it's progressed (and yes, there is a difference)   Rather than the music taking shape on its own (evolving), it is clear that it is being molded by someone into what is next seen fit but there is this still original ball of clay underneath it all.   Had we not experienced that Sound 2.5 we wouldn't have been prepared for what was to come on Side B either.   That was essential in some ways in making this not feel like a split.

What happens next is instrumental, though this cassette on a whole favors there being no vocals over them being there.    Through skip beats and bangs this has a NIN sound once again, but this time it is different from when it was heard before.    Transformers-like synth takes us to an eerie place and electronic loops persist as this maintains an overall rocking feel, one which is also dark.   I really hesitate to use this word when reviewing music because I think it actually means is often confused by what people think it means (especially in music), but there is a very gothic feel to this cassette overall.

While it's not something I can name off the top of my head, there are other artists I enjoy who have that experimental/dark place sound (which I often use the term "boiler room" in honor of Mick Foley) and on top of that this is just... it's something that could have been around in the 1990's when I first heard industrial music and I had a friend who listened to Front242, but it makes much more sense for it to be here now when the rules of music seem to not apply anymore (You no longer have to make sounds that mimic everyone else to get approval) and artists like [P-G], and others on Crass Lips Records, seem to be making music the likes of which the world has never known before. 

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