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A Crude Mechanical - Album Review: Discourse

08 Dec 2023 // A review by roger.bowie

Shane Warbrooke doesn’t believe in lyrics, because of the risk of lyrics being hi-jacked and meanings bent to suit ideologies which he doesn’t like. Well, such ideologies which most of us don’t like, truth be known, but then again, Beethoven didn’t write lyrics, so the freedom of speech counter argument only goes so far. I won’t therefore belabour the notion, instrumental albums are a distinct feature of my eclectic journey, but interpreting a piece of music is generally somewhat easier if there’s a lyric and a story. There, I’ve opened with an excuse.

A Crude Mechanical is the nomenclature and Discourse the title of this debut offering, and, in mitigation for the aforementioned distaste for lyrics, the songs titles themselves combine to form a statement, and so this is where we begin, hanging on to the written word in the hope that the analysis will be guided by some degree of rationality. Or maybe I’m just a little intimidated.

I have become discourse, another destroyer of words, and now the artifice is the art, the choir bays in binary and we bleed metrics, when all we need is a decoration of moments.

Yes.

A single chord progresses, singularly, until guitars waft in ethereal splendour. I am discourse, I converse through my music, and the meaning is, if not clear, then something that cannot be easily abused. At least, I hope not. Distorted guitar and faster pace remind me of a Jade Warrior and other occasionally obscure offerings from the birth of prog in the early 70's. 

But even wordless discourse can destroy words, the drum machine trips, the keyboard flips, the cello moans and guitars return to prominence, Genesis meeting Radiohead, and then gets heavier, a destroyer of words if not worlds. Apocalypse nigh.

Perhaps this is just a cunning trick, a stratagem, to rescue a tubular bell from an old field, and call it art. The rhythms are somewhat repetitive, but the guitars are eloquent, they are the voice in a voiceless word. Overall, the mood is sombre and threatening, despite pleasing to the ear, the words I cannot hear. 

But awake, the choir bays, in more celestial ways, I’m back with a Jade Warrior, which is also an artifice for nascent prog, And We Bleed Metrics to prove it in scales. I don’t care what Shane says, this is the 70's all over again. Except the drum machine should be Bill Bruford.

When then belies my insistence, and funks it up a bit, maybe into the 80's, with a Yes overlay. Could be either Steve, actually, Howe or Hackett. They were still around (still are).

At the end of the day All We Need Is, not love, but something like love, let’s call it A Decoration of Moments, to go with the words in this wordless affair. All we need is a prelude, soft and alluring, soothing and assuring, ebbing and flowing, until the moments decorate us in clever, delicate, manual crescendo.

On the one hand, A Crude Mechanical's Discourse is neither crude nor mechanical, it’s actually quite fun, and retro, and imaginative for the ears. 

But then again, I can imagine the music enthralling a jackbooted horde of thugs as well as serenading a summer of love.

The art is the artifice...

 

About A Crude Mechanical

A CRUDE MECHANICAL BIOGRAPHY
OR: HOW AND WHY I DECORATE TIME
All this noise I collect, build, destroy, manipulate and modulate. Loops of abused guitar try to bruise out the melody because I'm always trying to say too much, and the only honest form of communication is music. No words, just feeling strained through a sieve, it's mesh the mathematical relationship between different velocitys.

This Crude Mechanical act of making strings vibrate is the only artistry that matters to me. A meeting place of high brow and low brow where every contradiction in my frail body can crash together and serve a purpose.

Visit the muzic.net.nz Profile for A Crude Mechanical

Releases

Discourse
Year: 2023
Type: Album
You Aren't Being Suppressed
Year: 2023
Type: EP
Noise Suppressor
Year: 2022
Type: EP

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