Sunday, January 08, 2012

Cynic Carbon-Based Anatomy

Cynic Carbon-Based Anatomy

Reviewed By: Strawb

(Season Of Mist Records)

Occasionally, life presents one with a quandary. If you are Cynic, the latest one must be how to promote your latest output?’ Well, I was pondering exactly this when I had a “bolt of lightning” moment.

The moment began with the Sensational Alex Harvey Band. I occasionally dip into my back catalogue and relive my younger days. And, as I lost myself in this vastly underrated band, I began thinking of how I had discovered them. A bit like the chicken and the egg, I am not sure which came first, was it an introduction by my mate Mark Braithwaite, or was it on the Old Grey Whistle Test? For those who are unaware, OGWT was a weekly music programme on one of the (then) three national (British) TV channels. It was not to be missed by the vast majority of people I knew; one of those programmes which seems to have slipped under the establishment radar. It was THE topic of discussion amongst friends the next day. Quite often it resulted in the spending of a lot of money as new bands were discovered – in this case SAHB.

And my thought train progressed to include the opinion that Cynic were exactly the sort of band who would have appeared on the show. It had to cover a broad spectrum of music as opposed to today’s narrowed band music shows (here we have it, my new show featuring “hits” made by girl bands between 21st – 25th November in studios situated between the equator and 10 degrees north of it), and some of the acts were abject failures, but not many.

Why would Cynic have featured? Well, they are a band of some age, albeit in various incarnations and with years between them. They have bounced from one musical genre to another, from Thrash to their current home of prog/death/metal/fusion – and this is a ‘combination of’ rather than a ‘cast the net and do as we wish, it will fall into one of them’ type of description. It is different music, which because of its difficult to categorise sound will fail to gain space on any rigidly defined music or radio show. If only for this reason, it would have gained a slot on OGWT; Whispering Bob would have loved them.

Carbon-Based Anatomy is a six track EP. It takes us on a journey from the Amazon Rainforest to the vastness of space. The individual tracks and the thoughts behind them are explained on the bands website, and in greater depth then I would go into here. Along with the vocals, these explanations are from a place I don’t have a ticket to visit, far too way out, man. The music itself is excellent, and if I had a complaint it is a minor one that sometimes it is too busy, too many components being thrust into the mix at one time. The vocals are never forceful, but all the more appropriate for it.

Many years ago I used to have music to relax to, Tubular bells, Yes and the like. The majority of Carbon-Based Anatomy would warrant a place on that relaxing playlist.


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