Sonic Curiosity Logo

Indie Rock: Cyberchump, Jack Dark, History of Guns, Geoff Westen

decorative rule

CYBERCHUMP: Our Wizards of Earth (CD on Internal Combustion)

This release from 2008 offers 54 minutes of dreamy electronic rock music.

Cyberchump is: Jim Skeel (on guitars, keyboards, loops, voice, laptop and manipulations) and Mark G.E. (on keyboards, bass, loops, voice, guitar, laptop and tweaks), with contributions by Hafiza Capehart on flute, James Finlayson on hand drums, David D. Gupta on Indian tablas, Tim Higgins on drum kit, Jason Loveall on violin, Neal Rops on chump sample harvesting, and Jeanne Marie Vielleux on voice.

An electronic sensibility dominates this music, infusing the rock undercurrent with a dreamy disposition that softens the percussion, lends the guitars an astral flavor, and transports the vocals to a mystical realm.

The electronics appear in textural layers, sidereal effects and serpentine keyboard riffs, the latter establishing an eerie tableau for the tunes.

The percussion is steadfast, durable and well integrated to the music, supporting with beats that do not disrupt the musicís overall ethereal character.

Guitars provide snarling embellishment, sometimes in a spacey mode, other times indulging in a growling moodiness that evokes a portentous darkness.

Vocals are present in several tracks, presented in an echoing fashion that enhances that mystical quality, as if the lyrics are communicating dire secrets that are risky to share.

The guest instruments tend to flesh out the tuneageís sound with ethnic seasoning.

These compositions are a crafty blend of ambience and soft rock. While the instruments strive to boost the music into a substantial state, the general motif of the music maintains an atmospheric mien that makes these tunes stand out from conventional rock fare.

decorative rule

JACK DARK: Denizen (CD EP on Auscultation Recordings)

This release from 2008 offers 22 minutes of angry industrial music.

Gritty electronics establish a moody backdrop for metallic e-perc and gloomy vocals.

The electronics growl with rancor, delving into psychic realms of deep melancholy. Mixing haunting textures with ominous synthi sweeps, the mood is one of severe desolation. Bass tones emerge from obsidian pools of oily cadence. The music abounds with snarling electronics that communicate a smoldering disappointment with the world around you.

E-perc plays a vital role here, generating buzzing tempos that resonate with distinctly metallic timbre. The rhythms tends to be plodding, enhancing a forlorn disposition of broken hearts and maudlin animosity.

The vocals mirror this overall devastation. The voice springs from a deep abyss of emotional suffering. Understandably, the lyrical content reflects the same air of seething misery.

Inspired by the failure of a long-term relationship, these compositions are steeped in a sense of loss and regret, yet the aggressive nature of the tuneage conveys a healing anger that will benefit anyone who finds themselves in the same position.

Fans of Depeche Mode and Nine Inch Nails will enjoy this dose of industrial darkwave.

This release is available as a free download. Check it out.

decorative rule

HISTORY OF GUNS: Acedia (CD on Line Out Records)

This release from 2008 offers 43 minutes of angry rock music.

History of Guns is: Del Alien (on vocals) and Max Rael (on guitars and machines), with Gary Hughes (on drums, guitar and bass), Stagger Lee (on bass), Daniel Vincent and Fester Schuster (on additional guitar).

Harsh electronics mix with fierce percussion and blazing guitars to achieve a sonic fury that can be quite entrancing.

The guitars establish a wall of rage, delivering grinding chords that burrow into your ears with feverish determination and infect your cortex with a discontent for apathetic acceptance.

The electronics are dark and vehement. Savage waves of keyboard instigated sounds assault the listener with dire sweeps that wash away shock and pave the way for the lyrical messages of social rage.

The percussion is brutal and relentless, achieving rhythmic patterns that are capable of penetrating steel bulkheads.

The masculine vocals are overtly confrontational, sparing no respite in the pursuance of imparting their incensed missives. These communications refuse to be ignored or brushed aside as fringe voices.

These compositions express nihilism through overt tuneage. The bandís displeasure with life will touch familiar notes with many people as they articulate rage against the way things have become. The songs crystallize this sentiment with cruel intensity, producing angry anthems that are fascinating and mentally stimulating. This music advocates a desire for widespread change more than wanton destruction.

decorative rule

GEOFF WESTEN: Vidiots Tune In!! (CD on Disturbing Music)

This release from 2008 offers 52 minutes of expansive rock music.

Best known as the mastermind behind the Pigs, Westen is joined on this recording by: Dennis Conway, Richard Elliot, Lewis Goldsmith, Heart Attack Horns, Davey Johnstone, Jefferson Kewley, Shandi, and Dallas Smith.

Searing guitars, pummeling drums, glistening electronics and urgent vocals produce tuneage that often sound as if the Tubes were revived and shorn of their silliness to achieve a wry seriousness.

The guitars belt out riffs of glorious authority, dragging arena rock indoors for some sober creativity.

The percussion is forceful and lively. These rhythms support the music with driving stamina, delivering tempos of attractive appeal and feet-stirring quality.

The electronics are versatile; sometimes crisp and sparkling, other times dense and darkly ponderous. Either way, they act as subtle glue connecting the rest of the instruments into a gripping coalescence.

The vocals are articulate and accessible--although their lyrical content is invariably contrary to commercial directives. Never preachy, the vocals urge the listener to cast off the shackles of the media and seek fulfillment with other people.

These compositions are slick and engaging, delivering melodies that captivate as they assail, offering messages that warn the couch potato generation to get off their butts and discover the magic of interactive life. The enemy here is more than just television, anything that isolates individuals from each other is attacked with equal verve. The nice touch lies in the strong vibrancy of the tunes which are wrought with catchy hooks and bewitching rhythms.

decorative rule
Entire page © 2008 Matt Howarth.
All rights reserved.
Webpage design by Stasy