Thursday, September 15, 2011

"A taste of ash with the scent of burning embers..."

Heady times indeed to be a Cindytalk fan, this is their third album in as many years after quite a few out of circulation. Gordon Sharp completes his trilogy of recent works in grand style and surprisingly enough, there's even some prettiness to it. This latest incarnation of the band have taken the concept of abrasion as art to it's limit, alienating a lot of the fans who have been waiting and waiting for a return to their darkwave roots of the 80s. 'Camouflage Heart' is the one I'm speaking of, kids, an album of viciously forceful rhythms and almost psychotic vocals. 

These last three albums have pushed the extremities of Cindytalk's sound relentlessly in wildly confrontational ways. You can not ever know what kind of record you're going to get from this bunch, they don't do repeats and they most certainly don't take requests. Just listen through this act's discography and it will soon become apparent to you: Cindytalk do what they damn well please and as for the muse which inspires them... 'Transgender Warrior' is more than just a single. 

Sharp gives us quite a few excellent impromptu piano bits throughout but never do they become pompous or overbearing, they accent like ice water on one's back in the searing summer heat. You'll feel a quickening of breath as you're pulled through the ghastly sonic landscapes of what sound like eviscerated hymns twisted and bent by the cruelest of means in the name of creative exorcism. There have been some comparisons made between this one and a film score he composed back in 1988 entitled 'The Wind is Strong...' which are not without merit, however, instead of doing short and sweet little cues Gordon extends and enhances the spiteful nature of his work to new heights. This is not a feel good release nor is it going to make anyone's party playlist; it will raise the hairs on the back of your neck and send chills down your spine. You decide which you prefer, I'll be wearing a scarf. 

It's a taste of ash with the scent of burning embers that 'Hold Everything Dear' imparts as I play it and for being the length it is, you won't even notice any time has passed. How Mr. Sharp manages to pull this off is quite beyond me, I've played all three one right after the other even changing up the order but the potency of what's going on here is not diluted in the least. Here's the genius part of it, when played alongside those infamous 80s works, this material clearly shows much more range; an indefinable depth which never could have been achieved if this bunch had stuck with the pre-determined path their brief flirtation with pop music (This Mortal Coil) was beckoning with. It's all the more impressive to know that this kind of work has an outlet and with any luck a new generation of fans who will fearlessly embrace the uncompromisingly unique style of a band who's existence is similar to a viral form: just because there aren't any symptoms does not mean there isn't continual activity and sentience lurking outside the scope of vision. Waiting. 

Before I go, I'd just like to add that Cindytalk have been a continual source of inspiration and one of the few remaining bastions of originality to me for well over twenty years. I feel it only proper that I thank you, Gordon, for making so many blindingly visionary records throughout your career and hope there are many more to come.

Peter Marks
13 Sep 2011
Reproduced by kind permission of  Brutal Resonance-Hold Everything Dear review.

No comments: