Crippled Black Phoenix – 200 Tons of Bad Luck Crippled Black Phoenix – 200 Tons of Bad Luck

Crippled Black Phoenix - 200 Tons of Bad Luck

Crippled Black Phoenix - 200 Tons of Bad Luck

It’s like I read the book before I saw the movie. I first heard the songs selected for Crippled Black Phoenix’s 200 Tons of Bad Luck while listening to a two disc deluxe edition of the release. It was only after listening to the two disc set over a dozen times that I got a copy of 200 Tons of Bad Luck. So I listened to 200 Tons for the first time ready to laugh at some of the inside jokes, and eagerly point out how the double disk was far superior to this edition. After about 20 minutes into the album though I had to get down off my soap box, and put away my wire frame glasses, and Yo La Tengo t-shirt. The preconceived notions I had of where 200 Tons would fall short of the two disk set were off target.
Disc one of the set, The Resurrectionists, is an album that features brooding rock worthy of being the score for a descent into total madness. The Resurrectionists has a sound very reminiscent of Pink Floyd, specifically The Floyd’s Wish You Were Here. The first track on the album “Burnt Reynolds” opens much the same as Floyd’s “Shine On You Crazy Diamond Parts I–V “. An eerie synth, followed by four-note guitar, sets a landscape for this very spacey composition. The next track on The Resurrectionists, “Rise Up And Fight”, also borrows from Floyd by closing out the progressive anthem with the pulse of a beating heart; this is the most traditional alt-rock song on either of the albums.
“Time Of Ye Life/Born or Nothing/ Paranoid Arm of Narcoleptic Empire” is the track(s) that begins disk two, Night Raider. Night Raider opens up in much the same way that Mogwai’s Come on Die Young starts; a very well composed instrumental balled set behind a striped out sample of a man speaking. I hesitate bringing up Mogwai since that is the group Crippled Black Phoenix’s bassist Dominic Aitchison made his name, but the similarities are strong. Night Raider relies much more on instrumental tracks to carry the album, and provides enough contrast to The Resurrectionists where it really is better served as a separate disk.
Crippled Black Phoenix must have had some dilemmas regarding how to release these works. There are songs on the two disk that are lo-fi samples, or bridge fillers, that seem like they could be left on the editing room floor to produce a single more powerful effort. However after listening to 200 Tons of Bad Luck I think that my preference is with the longer, and admittedly more drawn out, two disk set. I try to compare artists to other artists as sparsely as possible. However while listening to this release its almost impossible not to hear heavy influences from the artist mentioned above like Pink Floyd and Mogwai, and others like King Crimson, Brian Eno, The Animals, and singer/guitarist Justin Greave’s former group Electric Wizard. Don’t be dissuaded by all the “sounds likes” I’ve mentioned, 200 Tons of Bad Luck has been stuck on play since I first listened to it a few months back. This album will rate high with fans of the post-rock genre in particular, but is a recommended listen to anyone who enjoys a rock epic.

Crippled Black Phoenix - 200 Tons of Bad Luck, reviewed by Big Ben on 2009-04-16T01:10:43+00:00 rating 4.1 out of 5



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