Camp Blackfoot - Critical Seed Vs The Spartan Society
To be honest, the stuff on the Org split single with The Cardiacs didn't really move me that much, but I was still intrigued enough to buy the album as soon as I found it. And I'm glad I did. I mean, it's mad, it's a bit of a hard laborious beast at times, but it's also well worth it.
A 14 minute song is always a risk, starting the album with one, well it's either stupid or extreme confidence. Fortunately it appears to be the later in the case of album opener Exorcismo di Paulo. I mean, how many styles and variations can one song go through. It's up and in your face, it's relaxed and down beat, dischordant and then highly melodic. IT kind of brings to mind the names The Beyond, Voivod, some pop-punk bands, even a bit of Girls Against Boys in terms of some of the bass playing. All those and more, and probably completely off the mark. And that's kind of the point in a way, because it's completely its own thing even if it does remind you of others.
The Blue Hood has a little hint of quirkiness such as The Cardiacs springing to mind. The vocalist is one of those that doesn't really have a great voice, but he has his own voice. The music is up in the face again, plenty of bass driving it along. I bet there's huge beaming grins on the faces of this band when they play live, not the downbeat woe is me angst.
Yeah, I like this and am enjoying it. Though I can imagine it's not everyone's cup of vodka. There's those choppy Beyond like guitar riffs again, and we've now got a little hammond organ sort of thing going on. I bet a lot of people will hate this. They'll complain that it's too quirky and hasn't got enough focus as it visits all different styles. Fair enough, but to me it'll be their loss.
There's a chunkier bit in now, chugging along, guitar solos, but worthwhile guitar solos. Yes there is such a thing, it's just that they're about as rare as the dodo. There's also elements of the bass that will get classified as the dreaded funk metal bass. But remember that Fieldy from Korn plays "funk metal" bass as well. Oh yes he does, that slap thing. That's what it's all about. It's just that the guy detunes way too much. But yeah, that sort of sound is here. I like it. It helps the likes of Coney Dog bounce around a bit, even if the main song isn't really that very memorable.Then you've got the likes of Who Plants The Pods? and The Other Gioconda, throwing in saxophone breaks just to add to the mix and to piss even more people off. Great stuff.
Towards the end it does get a little much, but that's in part because any 60 minute CD can get trying. But itís different, sometimes tries too hard, but they try.
Received this demo shortly after the band apparently supported earthtone9 in Bristol. It's about 9 months old and they've recorded new material recently, possibly for release as an album some time in the near future. But it's not about the future at the moment, it's about the present, and at present I have this CD in the player. So what's it like then? Well, being picky, the bottom end is missing. There's like the appropriate heaviness in the guitars trying to break through, but the production means that the bass seems to be a bit absent without leave. And you know how much I like bass, and not just because it's easy to spell.
The music itself is kind of ok, but nothing stands out in the mind. It's kind of thrashy hardcore sort of stuff, with plenty of double kick drumming going on in there. The vocals are kind of the shouty hardcore thing matched with the more spoken word style, which as ever brings to mind the name Jonathon Davis. Yes, it's very very old and cheap of me to constantly use that name, but I'm sorry, it's kind of endemnic of the fact that there are a lot of very capable vocalists out there who are just riding on the coat tails and not developing their own style. Here's another one. The quality of the shouts and the hollers means that you think there's definitely a voice there, but it needs to develop it's own identity. Pray To No One is the most interesting track, with its strange middle section, which is just sufficicently different and interesting enough from what goes before and after to prick your ears. While Mind Tricks starts with a kind of spacey guitar vibe and a more Seps like stab at the vocals.
And sorry, I don't care whether it's your first demo or your 10th quadruple million selling album in succession, remixes are remixes, and they're not a good idea. Even with 8 newkie browns inside you and in the midst of putting the world to rights. This one Crispy Nipples, isn't exactly bad, in fact it's mildly interesting, but there is no reason and no call for it in my opinion. It doesn't fit with the rest of what the band seems to be doing, and just feels like it's tagged on there in order to show how in touch with current musical trends the band are. And doing such a thing ain't always a good idea. It's more important to be in touch with what you truly want to do rather than what everyone at the moment is trying to sell.
I dunno, there's nothing inherently wrong with any of this demo, and there's a chance the band can make a reasonable go of things, but at the moment they kind of sit in that league which has a lot of competant capable bands but who either just don't have the material, imagination or that something special that just gets me really excited and wants to see them challenging the Man Utds of the music world. But everyone is able to challenge for promotion, if they can just make that little break from the resot of the pack. They're there to keep and eye on, and so I'll be interested to hear what the new material sounds like, because as with any band in existence, it's being talked up as being a progression, evolution and the establishment of their own sound. So I look forward to listening to it, because in all honesty, with all the tapes and CDs that are cluttering the living room, I can't really see myself reaching for this on all that many occassions.