Just like Jed Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies, Newspeak strikes oil with Sweet Light Crude, a dark, chocolately album that could easily keep a whole nation full of chamber rock lovers well lubricated for a whole year–or at least until the Earth’s mantle is sucked dry. This short but sweet spout spews forth six spurts of liquid (solid) gold from six different composers. Oscar Bettison’s “B&E (With Aggravated Assault)” starts it off with a bang and attacks the listener with a round of lurching, dissonant chamber rock full of radical tempo changes that turns on a collectible penny. Stefan Weisman’s “I Would Prefer Not To” tacks a semi-lyrical, screeching ballad of mysterious understatement onto a tale of disobedience and protest. David T. Little’s “Sweet Light Crude” is a floating, melodic love song dedicated to petroleum, a substance we all take for granted, but can’t live without. Occasionally odd instrumental peels fly off this tasty banana.
Missy Mazzoli’s “In Spite of All of This” offers up a violin-led ballad that is somehow peppy and sad at the same time. Emulating the arc of a missile in flight, Pat Muchmore’s “Brennschlub” is a fast-paced piece brandishing plenty of dissonance, kind of like an acoustic Glenn Branca. It then gives way to a floating realm of shout-singing and back again. Some cloudy, distorted guitar cuts in and forces you to crank up the volume, then the whole thing proceeds into a crazed, mixed-up climax. Finishing the album, Caleb Burhans’ “Requiem For a General Motors in Janesville, WI,” offers up a sparse, contemplative guitar that leads a somber yet melodic funeral dirge for the economic devastation experienced by the town of Janesville, Wisconsin when the local General Motors plant closed down. I’d like to give a shout out to petroleum for making this CD disc itself–and all of the forms of transportation that brought it to me–possible.
Label: New Amsterdam Records Catalog Number: NWAM026 Format: CD Packaging: Tri-Fold Mini-LP Jacket Tracks: 6 Total Time: 42:14 Country: United States Released: 2010 More: Amazon, New Amsterdam Records, Official, Vimeo, YouTube
Text ©2011 Arcane Candy