Born from a blizzard of horned cats, Crippled Black Phoenix bring you a twisted cinematic experience, handcrafted by a mercenary crew of underground heavyweights, giving depth and gravity to regal songs about love, loss, tragedies and redemption.
Back in the summer of 2004, Electric Wizard drummer Justin Greaves (also of Iron Monkey, Teeth of Lions Rule the Divine) started recordings songs and soundscapes he'd had in his head for several years onto minidiscs, looping them through an old stereo to achieve the multi-layers, these were the bones of what would eventually become the international outfit that is CBP.
The songs that marked that moment in time would take on a new strength, initially aided by good friend (and Mogwai bassist) Dominic Aitchison. Other great compadres followed, Panthiest members Andy Semmens and Kostas Panagiotou, Nial McGaughey of 3D House of Beef and -(16)- amongst others and solo folk singer-songwriter Joe Volk, who also fronts heavy rock band Gonga, all stepped up to bring a variety of influences and skills to complete the line-up.
Bringing us up to date in 2006, CBP enter SOA Studio (Portishead, Gonga, The Heads etc..) in Bristol, UK, to record the debut full-length album "A Love of Shared Disasters", a collection of self-penned "Endtime Ballads". During this, one of the hottest summers on record, the old friends aligned and the fully realized visions that had been pestering Greaves for the past few years were finally given life. The album, the first of a trilogy, deals with in the timelesness of honesty and tragedies laid bare, featuring sordid tales from the pages of literary history combined with personal stories of contemporary loss and love. Musically, the songs are driven by a need to stretch out and do something timeless and different from the band-members previous musical ventures but at the same time carrying over a little of their collective influences.
This is about pushing personal musical boundries and taking the listener on a journey of their own. Using a blend of modern amplified and Victorian era equipment plus an esoteric collection of strange but wonderfull ways of creating the dark-americana type ambience, the crew of CBP have lovingly fasioned a soundtrack for the "endtime" that has the impact of a Marshall stack, but with the timeless voice of classic instruments.
"A Love of Shared Disasters" is to see it's release through Invada Records (owned and run by Geoff Barrow of Portishead) and will see the band enter into the live on stage phase, bringing the public the melodic-but-twisted carnival that is Crippled Black Phoenix. Don't miss their first appearance on Continental Europe!
-) 2006 : 'Sharks & Storms/Blizzard of Horned Cats' (limited 10") on Invada Records.
Boomcat's point of view:
“Having a member of Mogwai in your lineup and making post-rock does admittedly set expectations fairly high. Although not entirely responsible for the genre itself, Mogwai were integral in getting it ‘out there’ and have recorded some of the most important additions to it’s canon, and now in 2006 the sound is still going strong. Crippled Black Phoenix takes Mogwai bassist Dominic Aitchison and places him next to Electric Wizards’ Justin Greaves and Panthiest members Andy Semmens and Kostas Panagiotou and between them the four create a very pleasant racket indeed. At times sounding like an extremely heavy Radiohead, at others coming across like an incredibly depressed ISIS this is just what we like to hear from the post rock folks at the moment, and like Red Sparrows have taught us recently there’s life in the old beast yet. Packaged beautifully in luscious brown card and limited to a mere 500 copies for the world this ain’t gonna last long so grab while you can...”
-) 2007 : 'A Love of Shared Disasters' on Invada Records.
I Work At Initech's point of view:
Holy crap! That's about the extent of what I can say! I had the opportunity to listen to the fully mastered version of the upcoming debut of Crippled Black Phoenix! This was actually more torture than you can imagine, because it's just going to make the wait for the US tour that much harder to bear! I'm not alone is my fervent adoration of this musical conglomerate, check out Micky's page (Boring Machines Disturb Sleep) for loads of references and reviews, as well as an impressive interview with Justin (who was so kind as to hook me up with an advanced copy of the album).
Overall the album touches on most if not all of the cornerstones of any good worthwhile art/post-rock album, and adds textures on top of textures that warrant repeated listens, which can be said for all of the twelve tracks on the album! The album is by far one of the most interesting pieces of music to come out in the last number of years, and while it shares a lot in common with the 'gwai soundscape, it also manages to touch on other styles of instrumental and subtle texture-driven genres! This is without a doubt one of the most impressive debuts I've ever heard!
You can listen to a few tracks on their Myspace page.