Saturday, March 07, 2009
CONCAVE SCREAM- Three CD
(Concave Scream 1999)
I'd sort of written off most music since '99; that year of uncertainties, paradigm shifts and doomsday prophecies (don't smirk, watch out for 2012). I had always watched with anticipation, keeping my eyes open and holding my breath, steadily observing the stream of evolution to ignite a revolution of a grand proportion, being the epic addict I am. Also, being an Aquarian I seek changes, in a good progressive way, otherwise I'd rather get stuck in the rut of good old familiarity. Unfortunately the state of local music culminates to a point in '99 where the well of inspiration runs dry, with a dearth of melodies that tickles the heart and a sickening entrapment within the pentatonic scales of rock n'roll, forever reinventing the same wheel and exploring new frontiers within their miserable box. Postrock and whatnot, when nothing can be juiced from rock music they moved on to do a perversion of classical music. What happens everywhere are devolution, regression and stagnation.
Well, so where does that leave the third (this time self-released album) from Concave Scream? This band is no doubt one of my most favourite Singapore band. They had something very special in their earlier works, the gist of a darkly intense, deeply emotional and melodically wonderful nature. Those guys always wear black and they seemed so anti-radio. Well, “Three” here sees a departure of their angry emotionally charged dark passion, and they make dreamy pop rock that have almost every moment screaming the radio favour of the month. No longer angry as before, the so called maturity also possibly sees them running out of ideas. Their lacklustre rendition of very typically modern Brit rock inspired droning sometime bordering on pussified shoegazing, sounds too often like sound which you can't remember after a while. Which is sad considering the fact that these guys used to mix U2, New Model Army and Slayer into a very potent concoction. Some tracks like “Near” and “Fiction” had promising starts, that unfortunately leads into the same endless dream pop drones loop. My most favourite track on this albym is ironically an instrumental, “Rewind”. It has got fantastic fret tappings, New Order/Joy Division kind of riffs and it did hark back to the earlier adventurous days of this band.
The album should be a good release if you are not me, because it has just got that very accessible pop/rock quality and you can't fault these talented musicians. “Three” saw them moving closer to the spotlight out from the miserable gloomy place known to the few sober drunkards as the underground and of course in the process alot more people heard their songs and some people probably would not mind downloading some mp3s into their collection. Though this release does not do it for me, I actually bought this album, because Concave Scream still holds dear a place in my heart. 1999 is a year best remembered for bands moving forward with gaining new fans and leaving many old fans stranded, while aimlessly trying to find that new sound and shedding away the formula that made them famous.
--sojourner at 3:41 AM