Dead Frail Honesty, A New Piece of Flesh

Dead Frail Honesty, A New Piece of Flesh

The best way to describe this CD is to say that it’s industrial, with influences from Skinny Puppy and older Ministry but with a well-thought-out Goth overtone. The scraping backgrounds, voice track overdubs, and soft and droning synthesizer beats meld into a grimy, overloaded, distorted-guitar sound, complete with the occasional screams — it’s dark, intense, and lovely, even Reznor-ish, with classical piano looming over screaming girls and scratchy male lyrics. Lead singer Brian Cramer is obviously a trained pianist brutally sodomized by industrial scenery and “bones of the dead.” I really found myself enjoying this; the sickness balled within and coursed through my veins.

The first track, “Darken,” steals you from the comfort and safety of your home and leads you into the hidden lair of the dark overlord. There he strokes your hair and lies you down on an industrialized track of scrapes, squeals, screams, and lustful and distorted guitars, coupled with visions of steel. “Before All Things” gives us the poetic side of the overlord’s drama, with beautifully interwoven classical piano. By the third track, however, I’m a bit edgy and anticipating a change in the voice effects. By the middle of the CD, Cramer’s yelling becomes a hyperventilated whisper, and the drone of the song has warped my perspective of a potentially sunny day. Nonetheless, I am huddled in the protective arms of my dark lover as the piano wanes behind the synthesizer and guitar chords caress the sandy shore like an incoming tide.

Upon reaching “Sitting All Empty,” I’m a bit frazzled, worried about doomsday destruction and the attack of a silent, nuke-loving army. Well into “Nighthag,” I’ve realized that some horror-flick company out in Hollywood needs to employ these guys to compile a soundtrack for their next big post-Apocalyptic movie. Track nine, “Goria Battlefield,” seduces with its whispery “letting go.” The piano and the quiet lull of the synthesizer, coupled with the sadness in Cramer’s voice, makes me feel guilty for turning off the CD and leaving him all alone. Phantasmagorically disturbing and delightful; I feel as if I’ve just been violated and yet have been left craving more.

This album was intense and highly emotional, distraught, helpless, and broken, crying out for a love to nurse its twistedly morbid wounds. I felt strung-out for about thirty minutes afterwards, then came to. It altered my neural pathways and transported me to an alternate, futuristic dimension of robot-humans, steel, dying suns, dead trees, and freshly washed hands reaching out to hold me. Forlorn, forgotten; gave me chills. Imagine midnight on the Ship Channel with the clank of industry, in a deserted WWII bunker with a synthesizer, a piano, a dirty guitarist, and one blanket for two lost souls. An eerie soundtrack. I only ask that the band change up the voice effects every now and then so that it’s not monotonous. Although it is extremely dark and I don’t usually listen to this style, I’m completely impressed with the overall quality of the CD. It’s tightly woven, well-crafted for its genre, delicately rehearsed, and intensely driven. Thumbs-up all around.

[Dead Frail Honesty is playing 6/25/10 at Super Happy Fun Land, along with Sullen Serenade & The Spiritual Bat.]
(Geisha Machine Records; Dead Frail Honesty --
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Thursday, June 3rd, 2010. Filed under Features, Reviews.

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2 Responses to “Dead Frail Honesty, A New Piece of Flesh

  1. Chris Shortt on July 31st, 2010 at 2:02 am

    Hey Tracy! Thank for the kind words and awesome review. I really enjoyed your translation of our noise.

    For those interested Shinto Records (not geisha machine) is selling our albums now.

    Play it Loud or not at all!

    Take Care

  2. SPACE CITY ROCK » Yr. Weekend, Pt. 1: Suspects + Somosuno + Blackmarket Syndicate + Warsaw Opening + Dead Frail Honesty + More on November 17th, 2011 at 2:10 pm

    […] in college, and I have very little idea of what all’s out there, these days. That said, we reviewed the band’s debut, A New Piece of Flesh, earlier this month, and writer Tracy L. was pretty head-over-heels for it, […]

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