Cathode Ray Eyes - Eyes In The Melancholy Pond (Cardinal Fuzz, 2015)
CRE is the solo project of Cult of Dom Keller guitarist Ryan (if you’re the leader of a cult, it’s probably best to hide your surname). He starts out sounding like he spent a lot of time listening to Swans records with the ominous cinematic instrumental ‘And The Burial Had Several Different Endings’. Great title, great start. Remaining in the gutter, ‘Death Song No. 1’ sounds like Julian Cope swapping spit with John Lydon during his PIL phase, while the soft acoustic dreamy ‘Unsuccessful Resurrection of James Dean’ nods towards Brian Jonestown Massacre, Jim Morrison, and Fields of The Nephilim playing Russian roulette with Christopher Walker.
Fans of Ryan’s main band will still find vestiges of their Joy Divisionist gloom and doom in ‘I Woke Up This Morning and The World Was On Fire’, here supplemented by a full tilt sonic blast, a la My Bloody Valentine and Loop. Ryan must suffer from some pretty fucked up dreams if tracks with titles like ‘Drowning Rats’, ‘Grim Reaper On My Back’, and ‘And It Came (Barrel of Skeletons)’ are anything to go by. The former and latter are ghostly instrumental cinematic freakshows that suggest words like “nightmare” and “insomnia” come up a lot in Ryan’s conscious conversations. Some eerie wordless female vocals up the shit-scary factor.
‘Will You Catch Me When I Fall From On High’ features creepy distorted guitars and even creepier distorted, vibrattoed vocals delivered in a monotonic stupor that suggests that moment may come sooner than you (or Ryan) thinks. ‘Short Piece About A Piano’ sounds like a goofy Phillip Glass or Terry Riley title, but it’s actually an accurate reflection of this little ditty, straight out of a Bugs Bunny cartoon – with a nod to Carl Stalling (if he composed a Jodorowsky or Hitchcock thriller).
While much of the Dom Keller pedigree is present, this will also be of interest to fans who’d like to temper their sludge with retrospective instrumental excursions and the odd weird vocal effort. Horror film music to be sure – don’t listen alone in the dark!
Review made by Jeff Penczak/2015
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