Saturday, December 16, 2017

Cellos The Great Leap Backward & Shows # 698 & 701

In the summer of 2017, Cellos released The Great Leap Backward. Cellos are a noise rock band from Windsor, Ontario that have been creating heavy, riff oriented songs since 2011’s Bomb Shelter. The band consists of Kyle Marchand (guitar/vocals), Dave Allan (drums) and Vince Mazerolle (bass), who joined the band earlier in 2017 replacing bassist Joe Rabie, who played bass on The Great Leap Backward. The album was recorded at Sound Foundry Studios in Kingsville, Ontario by Brett Humber in the summer of 2016. The nine tracks found here were recorded consecutively and as a result, The Great Leap Backward has a unique cohesiveness to its overall sound.

“White Lines” opens The Great Leap Backward with its sludgy, heavy stop and start riffs. The song features distorted vocals throughout the verses, as melodic vocals occur at about the halfway point in this track, before heading into an apocalyptic breakdown featuring a hail of drums and distorted guitars. Lyrically, the song seems to question the unpredictability of what someone may think is right or wrong and the blurry lines of what’s in between. “Demagogue” comes in as the second track on this album. With its slithery guitar riffs, hard-hitting drums and creeping intense basslines, this song was inspired by the events of the most recent US election. With lines such as “I heard the Visigoths are coming/So you better build a wall”, “Demagogue at the throne” and “I hope you’re feeling comfortable/You get what you paid for”, Cellos paint an uneasy picture of a world of un-rational thought and its consequences.

“Delirium Tremens” starts off with drums and a heavy bassline before vocals and lead guitar lines, filter in and out, “Ghosts In The Sky” attacks with heavy riffs and drums that seem to float amongst the instrumentation and vocals. The breakdown of this song builds to a sludgy intensity before it drifts out into feedback. “Snake Charmer” lures you in with its heavy Melvins-meets-Kittens dynamic, “Out of Phase” broods with a balance of slow and heavy dynamics, pulling in elements of post-rock musically. Clocking in at just a little over six minutes, this song sucks you into its atmospheric, haunting void. This is also illustrated lyrically with words such as “Bodies floating in the Salton Sea/Dipped my head in, but I forgot to breathe” and “You were a ghost to me and if I chose to stay/Would I still be breathing?”. The short approximately two minute track “Bury Me On Highway 3”, showcases a Minutemen influence and was inspired by the long drive from Windsor to the band’s jam space in Kingsville, while “Shooting Star” picks up the pace further as it drags the listener down with its visceral guitar riffs.

“Stranger At The Door” ends the album, portraying a feeling of suspension musically and uncertainty, lyrically. At about five and a half minutes, this track encompasses elements of Cellos earlier sounds with a step out into something new. Lyrically, throughout The Great Leap Backward, Cellos employ an introspective method on several of the tracks. Musically, in terms of influence bands such as The Jesus Lizard, Melvins, and Kittens come to mind when listening to this LP. Cellos approach to this album maintains their heavy, aggressive sound, while at the same time incorporating more melody into some of the tracks, adding layers to their sound. The album may be titled, The Great Leap Backward, but on this album Cellos does the exact opposite.

Show 698 Playlist (Originally Aired On December 16th, 2017):

1. Lucille Furs - Thoughts & Words
2. King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard - Poolygondwanaland
3. OCS - Memory of a Cut Off Head
4. Oh Sees - Drowned Beast
5. Julie & The Wrong Guys - Condescending You
6. Casper Skulls - You Can Call Me Allocator
7. Cellos - Snake Charmer (CJAM Session)
8. Fiftywatthead - Rock and Roll Killer
9. Motorhead - Dance
10. Flat Worms - Goodbye Texas
11. METZ - Dig A Hole
12. Gianna Lauren - Inn Keeper
13. Courtney Barnett & Kurt Vile - Continental Breakfast
14. Jeff Rosenstock - Beers Again Alone
15. The She's - Ashes
16. Des Demonas - Does It Matter To You
17. The Diodes - Tired of Waking Up Tired (Demo)
18. Microdot - Atom Pentagon
19. Wolf Parade - Artificial Life
20. Laura Sauvage - Monkeys In Space
21. Klazo - This And That
22. Alex Chilton - Shakin' The World
23. Jonathan Richman - The Heart of a Saturday Night
24. The Brood - Chicken, Cheese & Beer
25. Mauno - Com
26. Little Girls - Concepts

To download this weeks program, visit CJAM's schedule page for Revolution Rock and download the file for December 16.

Show 701 (Originally Aired On December 23 is a repeat of my 2017 Joe Strummer Day Latino Rockabilly War Special.  Download that here and view the post here.)

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