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Crippled Black Phoenix - 200 Tons Of Bad Luck CD (album) cover


Crippled Black Phoenix


Psychedelic/Space Rock

3.29 | 50 ratings

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Eclectic Prog Team
2 stars An unsavory blend of psychedelic and post rock, this album has some good moments, but most of it falls into one of two categories: It can either be called imitative of Pink Floyd (almost to the point of plagiarism), or it can be regarded as some of the most boring, sleep-inducing stuff ever.

"Burnt Reynolds" With one of the slowest starts I've heard, this piece unfolds like a molasses flower. Right from the start, the Pink Floyd influences are clear: This music has a very simple chord progression, bluesy guitar fills, and a gentle rhythm section comprising light drums, piano, and bass. The lead vocals are extremely quiet in the mix, while the backing howls are prominent. The ending consists of some bizarre fairground music.

"Rise Up and Fight" A gritty little guitar crunches out a steady rhythm alongside a simple drum beat- not a bad heavy song, but nothing memorable either.

"Time of Yer Life / Born for Nothing / Paranoid Arm of Narcoleptic Empire" A spoken fatherly voice doling out some trite and perhaps questionable advice begins the lengthiest track of the album. That goes on for about four minutes until a steady guitar riff, percussion, and a wailing lead ease in. The bulk of the piece relies on repetitive but smooth riffs and stringed intrusions now and again. About ten minutes in, it almost completely changes sound, becoming a Pink Floyd imitator so much that even the chords, rhythm and pace are a blatant rip off of "Pigs." "Ha ha, charade you are" indeed. Another change involves a more electronic approach, as a low synthesizer wiggles about, and a higher one whines and quivers over it.

"Wendigo" A lonesome guitar loaded with reverb plays a sad, sleepy melody.

"Littlestep" Piano, guitar, and drums introduce a pleasant David Gilmour-like vocal. This is a rather nice song with a calming sound and great singing.

"Crossing the Bar" A lovely, steady acoustic guitar starts as a knocking bass drum and a growling cello come in. The joining instruments increase in volume, drowning out the acoustic until they all stop, leaving behind a piano plinking out a single tone in even quarter notes for quite some time, which carries on even as chords enter. I've nodded off during this track more than once.

"Whissendine" More quiet acoustic guitar and a Red Hot Chili Pepper-like lead vocal make for a decent song. It has a pleasing post-rock build.

"A Real Bronx Cheer" This thirty-four second track is just theatrical music with some derisive laughter.

"444" A subtle, punk-like guitar rhythm opens this track. This song sounds very similar to heavy Radiohead, especially vocally, but has more of an alternative rock flavor.

"A Hymn For A Lost Soul" Grainy piano and the singing of a sleepy congregation makes this one sound like a bad recording of a church hymn on a Sunday morning.

"A Lack Of Common Sense" Perhaps Crippled Black Phoenix wanted to offer their version of The Final Cut, since with noises of motors and shouts of commands, that's exactly what this sounds like (although it seems to be a man with a chainsaw felling trees). As with the aforementioned album, distant guitar and mournful vocals are to be expected. It does become brighter, with simple drums and guitar bouncing along, and even has a bit of Mellotron in the backdrop. The drum solo at the end is very muddy.

"I Am Free, Today I Perished" A somber piano begins the final piece, while guitar and accordion join in on the dreary festivities. The music builds and bores in post-rock fashion.

Epignosis | 2/5 |


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