26 March 2013

Unearthed Reviews: Cracked Actor. Four and a half stars

| Barcham
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I seem to have lost John. He’s not here to yell at me, but I’m going to do an Unearthed Review anyway. That’s how well he’s trained me.


Cracked Actor!

Here’s what they have to say about themselves… actually for their bio they’ve put what BMA had to say about them.

“With each spin the debut EP from locals Cracked Actor pours out my speakers too quickly. It’s the brilliant creation of Sebastian Field, Grahame Thompson, Nick Delatovic and Jordan Rodgers, and was mixed and engineered by Canberra’s Midas, Sam King. Comparable to big names like Radiohead and Portishead, the band’s ambient post-rock is diffused with experimental elements also cultivated by local acts Mornings and Spartak. Cracked Actor exude musical confidence and unique sensibilities. Solar Driftwood spells success.

Long Road debuts Cracked Actor’s intricate rhythmic and melodic associations. You’re drawn in like a piece of solar driftwood; everything is swimming in light and shimmering inside and out. The chorus breaks like a bright, euphoric wave – a sonic high that forms an addictive motif on the record. In Silver Wheel, Thompson’s rhythmic attitude is intrinsic and ghostly cello manifests over progressions which evoke Radiohead circa 2003.

The poetics of I’m Never Sad hint at a curious back story while cello grates violently then soothes. This one is particularly powerful live. More nightmare than daydream, Paper Suit confronts the hypocrisies of social constructions with provocative lyricism. Here especially, Cracked Actor develop a rich post-rock sound without exhausting energy. Thompson makes masterful use of the kick and sticks, keeping his beats diverse across the EP. The prologue of distorted vocals/guitar with a smooth riff make an emotional finis – signed Cracked Actor.

Intimate vocals sound higher in the mix on Permission as stuttering electronics lead listeners to a place both comforting and unnerving. Check the instrumental prowess. Manics in Love is awash with eerie romanticism; a slow beat, lush cello and lustful guitar.

Field’s staggered vibrato is haunting, beautiful and ethereal, the cello is technically and texturally well-utilised and the drums come with a light touch and sharp energy. Interludes of instrumental/vocal overdubbing don’t lose pace or the sweet, cohesive tonality. With ominous lyricism and ‘pressure and release’ musicality, the aural experience of Solar Driftwood is shadowed, elusive and transformative in the best possible way. Ensconce yourself.”

They had quite a bit to say… It’s really good too. My reviews are rubbish in comparison.

Make sure you read what’s written above while I try and think of something to add.

I know you must think it’s lazy for me to rely on the words of another publication to do my job, but I’m far too busy enjoying Cracked Actor to care what you think. Cracked Actor are haunting and passionate. They sound like a bittersweet futuristic love affair I might one day have in world that is questioning its lost humanity. Their influences are obvious, but their take is unique and beautiful. I cannot recommend them enough.

This is what it sounds like when four amazing musicians challenge and compliment each other, which is a shame because I enjoy writing bad reviews more than I like writing positive ones. I’ve been foiled by Cracked Actor.

I’m going to listen to these tracks again to make me feel better.

Four and a half stars.

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