A Perfect Circle Interview @ Antiquiet

It's been awhile since this great band has surfaced with anything big, but after the recent announcement of tour dates and touring lineup, Antiquiet conducted an interview with Billy Howerdel. It's quite a good read, so check it out.

Here is the interview: A Perfect Circle Interview @ Antiquiet

3 confessed:

Cosmic Armchair - A Second Look EP Review

Released: August 24, 2010
Label: Stratos Records

I first learnt about this band through the Singapore Dark Alternative Movement (S.D.A.M.) events. Keyboardist, Benjamin Ang often performs as a DJ at those events. Together with vocalist, Jane Lau, the Electronic/SynthPop duo, Cosmic Armchair releases their second EP, "A Second Look".

  1. Don't Leave Me Here
  2. Conversation
  3. Just One Look
  4. Take You Home
  5. Grey (Second Look Remix)

Upon seeing their performance at Baybeats this year, I'm starting to like what the band is trying to show us. First track "Don't Leave Me Here", gives a brand new revival to New Wave. It's the kind of song with an 80s influence with less cheesiness in synthesizers.

"Conversations" is a direction most local musicians will never represent themselves. There's a recording of a girl speaking in a Singaporean accent repeating in the background. I think it's a brilliant idea. It's better to promote yourself as an Asian than to imitate other culture that you're not, especially for Singapore artists.

I really like how the album is so soothing to the ears with cleverly composed keyboards and vocal parts which can be heard in "Just One Look" and "Take You Home". "Grey (Second Look Remix)" which was previously featured on their debut EP, "A Different View". Compared to the original version which sounded more like FuturePop to me, this one has more of an Electronic feel to it.

The band has justified that they're a serious Electropop band with the quality recording of "A Second Look" and also as an impressive live act. Overall, I think I have spent my money well on getting this EP. My first impressions on them weren't so good but they certainly have progressed from their earlier performances and the debut EP. They certainly deserve more support for their future efforts.

6 out of 7 sins

0 confessed:

Pins and Needles - The Birthday Massacre Review

Released: September 14, 2010
Label: Metropolis Records

  1. In the Dark
  2. Always
  3. Pale
  4. Control
  5. Shallow Grave
  6. Sideways
  7. Midnight
  8. Pins and Needles
  9. Two Hearts
  10. Sleepwalking
  11. Secret

The first single, In The Dark, a melodic yet heavy piece welcomes us into the world of Pins and Needles. Angelic vocals from Chibi, heavy guitars and drumming and synthwork that builds a wall of sound around everything, makes this an amazing choice for a starter and a single.

However, the heaviness does not last long, as tracks Always, Pale and Control follows up after In The Dark albeit addictive drum parts and powerful synth composition.

Shallow Grave manages to salvage the album with the almost classic TBM sound. Beginning with a dreamy synth part, programmed bassline and electronic drum beats that gets cuts off to bring in the crunch of Rainbow's riffs and the actual drums. This track is everything to love about TBM, the lyrics are so catchy that you could just sing along to the simplistic chorus "We put her down in a shallow grave/She wears a dress like a body bag every day/And this way she won't have to run away/And she can keep her regrets at bay every day". As grim as the lyrics appear to be, Chibi's light and sweet sounding vocals makes it seem like everything is alright with putting someone in a shallow grave.

After an almost unmemorable first half, the title track really makes it concrete that TBM still has awesome synthrock in them. Coupling heavily delayed guitars with a deep running bassline that seems endless, and an almost psychedelic synth running in sequence during the chorus and ending with a heavy guitar, bass and drum outro. Pins and Needles definitely left me wanting more and that's exactly what Two Hearts and Sleepwalking brings forth.

Just when it is starting to get really exciting, the album ends with Secret, a track that follows the in the same vein as Movie (from Walking with Strangers, 2007). Dreamy guitars, synths, bassline, basically dreamy everything. A good end to the album and a great track to follow after the three headbanging tracks before it.

It is not to be misunderstood that Pins and Needles is a letdown, as it is actually pretty well done in terms of composition, production and technicality of synthwork. However what holds it back is the band's desire to move towards a more easily accessible sound, an easily accepted mainstream sound in tracks such as Pale, Always and Midnight.

Rewind back to Violet (2004), Chibi's vocals had an almost haunting aura to it, the instrumental compositions had a more "haunted alice in wonderland carnival" ambience to it too. As a fan, I have to say I miss the earlier TBM.

5 out of 7 sins

2 confessed: