Clinging To The Trees of a Forest Fire, Songs of Ill Hope and Desperation

Clinging To The Trees of a Forest Fire, Songs of Ill Hope and Desperation

If you have ever been to the palatial worldwide headquarters of Space City Rock, you know of the plethora of CDs that litter the mail room. With so many to choose from, it can be tough to decide on which ones to listen to. Being the metal guru that I am, any cover that has a dragon, a skull, or a scantily-clad lady always ensures listening. If you happen to have all three, you go to the top of the stack. The other way to get my attention is to have such an unusual name that you stand out. That’s how I chose Clinging To The Trees of a Forest Fire. Bad grammar aside, how could you resist that?

Now, on to the music: the band describes themselves as a mixture of grindcore and doom. That’s actually an apt description, since their sound has the fast-ness, punkyness, and shouty-ness of grindcore, but accented with the  slow and heavy of doom.  While the parts are at seemingly odds with one another, that combination gives the band a uniqueness that helps separate them. You go from a one-minute bash-fest of  “Shat Out My Bones” to the five-minutes of desolation and haunting of “Gold Frankincense & Myth.” That pattern is repeated throughout the album, giving it a bipolar nature.

The band has a very misanthropic lyrical approach, so much so that calling it “cynical” or “pessimistic” wouldn’t be enough. While understanding the lyrics would be tough due to the vocal stylings, just be looking at songs with titles like “Bouquet of Self Pity,” “I Walked Away From the Human Race,” and “They Smeared Shit on Their Skin So they Could Blend In At Night.” Those three alone should let you know that there are no shoe-gazing, emo-wannabe songs from this group. It’s safe to say that their words are as brash and gloomy as their music.

Unfortunately, while Clinging is a unique band, there just wasn’t a lot to grab on to. Although this music does have a certain  “stay away” ethos to it, it comes across as crazy for the sake of being crazy. Stylistically, the abrasiveness seems to me the main desire, not necessarily the desire to play a song, something I think will keep most metal fans away from this. Fans of grindcore may like this, on the other hand, but they may be turned off by the slow passages.

(Prosthetic Records -- http://prostheticrecords.com/; Clinging To The Trees of a Forest Fire -- http://www.myspace.com/clingingtothetreesofaforestfire)
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Review by . Review posted Tuesday, October 26th, 2010. Filed under Features, Reviews.

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