"A Brief Crack of Light"

By Dark Starr

I remember associating these guys with Ozzfest (although looking back, I don’t think I ever saw them at that festival). For that reason I lumped them in as metal. There are some metal moments here, but that’s really far too limiting a musical label for this outfit. They've also been labelled as a punk act, but really, there's so much going on here, that only makes sense in a few instances.

It's one hell of a journey. "Living In the Shadow of the Terrible Thing" kicks the release off with maximum heaviness, but it's not standard boilerplate metal by any stretch. "Before You, With You, After You" has a cool, almost mysterious sound that mixes noisy rock with progressive elements. Speaking of noise, "The Buzzing" somehow manages to mix aspects of King Crimson, surf music and a touch of Sabbath. Yet it hangs together solidly and never comes across as weird for weird's sake. The same can be said for "Take Your Dead Hand Off My Shoulder", where I could swear an Oingo Boingo influence is mixed with the heavy sounds. The whole record is a journey through a musical funhouse crammed with all sorts of elements. It ends on a mellow, electronic note with "Ecclesiastes", which is a perfect cool down after the insanity that has preceded it.

These guys are incredibly interesting and inventive. They challenge boundaries and genre reference points. For that reason, and some others, I’d call this progressive rock. Whatever you call it, though, this is a great disc that’s entertaining and unique. I love it.