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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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3 stars CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX are a project made of proficient musicians. Bass player Dominic Aitchison for example is known for his longtime collaboration with post rock outfit Mogwai. Together with multi-instrumentalist Justin Greaves he has gathered a bunch of fellows to produce '200 Tons Of Bad Luck'. As for that you should expect a matured album ... let's see how it works. What attracts attention first and foremost is the album's variety. You often stumble upon releases where the songs sound similar - it's not the case here. Starting with Burnt Reynolds - nice pun, isn't it? - we are confronted with evident Pink Floyd reminiscences, to name the spacey synthy start, the Gilmour adapted guitar ... the whole mood in general.

But on the other hand this is presented so plaintive that you think, all the 200 tons of bad luck have been unloaded here at once. Are this painful voices at the end? I'm not sure - they broaden some mystery ... and the weird funfair music doesn't make it easier. The next song contrasts - well, let's say rebels against the aforementioned atmosphere. Led by a stoic rhythm branch Rise Up And Fight is heavy grooving, the drive is expressing spirit of optimism. Twittering synths and echoing guitars (fantastic!) are serving a spacey note. Motorpsycho couldn't make it better. And this prepares for the epic Time Of Yer Life ... which generally crosses the post and psych border but starts with some narration. A great instrumental improv, it takes time to evolve to something dramatic ... and shows some significant Pink Floyd traces again right in the middle.

Wendigo moves into something pathetic with cello, brass and accentuated slightly droning guitar. A beautiful melancholic snapshot really. The trippy end of Littlestep - a nice psych ballad - is striking where Crossing The Bar is made of post and krautrock repetitives. And now after the catchy ballad Whissendine it all reaches a turning point. A saloon piano here and some heart-wrenching cello impressions there - the following songs are each differing as such but not really bubbling over with ideas furthermore.

'200 Tons Of Bad Luck' provides a psychedelic, space and post rock mixture in a modern renewed outfit. Some songs are inspired by Gilmour & Co, worked out by picking up their spirit especially. We can argue if this has too much of a good thing - for me it doesn't matter. The whole album proves that CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX have more to offer than a rehash - even if there is some lack of inspiration coming up during the second half - 3.5 stars in total.

Rivertree | 3/5 |


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