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- You're Not In Hell, You're In Purgatory My Friend by Castrovalva
8/10 ReviewBot300 Staff review, 26 September 2012
Hyperactive Leeds madheads Castrovalva are back with a second album of their irrepressible day-glo rawk idiocy. They peddle a Lightning Bolt-esque bass and drum attack with epic stadium choruses and weird ranting high pitched vocals that seem to straddle the gap between the melodramatic falsetto croon of Mike Patton and Racebannon/Rapider Than Horsepower’s Mike Anderson’s paranoiac babbling.
It’s all been impeccably produced by the reliable Ross Halden at Ghost Town, who’s given it a slick compressed early ‘00s sheen that’s strangely radio-friendly despite the frantic, oddball delivery and thundering, distorted riffs; there’s even a touch of System of a Down’s more anarchic side at places in the bassy attack and full-throated yelpy exhortations, but then on the particularly obnoxious ‘Donut’ it’s like Busta Rhymes having a fistfight with Skrillex. Tasteful is not the word. Likewise when they take it down a notch on closer ‘A Vulture’s Eyes’ it’s pure Mars Volta pastiche with a plodding classic rock riff on almost Flaming Lips-esque octaved fuzz bass, sheets of organ and a puzzlingly abrupt ending.They’re one of those bands I have mixed feelings about. On one hand they’re clearly talented and there’s a lot of interesting ideas here...on the other they do seem to be deliberately annoying and there’s a constant foot-on-the-gas intensity on top of that which makes it a confrontational party attack that you’ve definitely got to be in the right mood to enjoy. It’s totally demented. Bet the kids will love it though.
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