Genghis Tron "Dead Mountain Mouth" CDPosted on Wednesday, September 20th, 2006 @ 11:04am » permalink
So, first I have to apologize to Genghis Tron and Crucial Blast, the band and label behind this release, because this is quite possibly my new record for slacking for no apparent reason and taking entirely too fucking long to finally getting around to writing up a damn CD. But here it is, I finally got around to it, and "Dead Mountain Mouth" – the band's debut full-length – is a bizarre yet intriguing clusterfuck of riffs, tempos, sounds, arrangements, and genres. However, what's most important to point out here is that, while chaotic and harsh, while wild and crazy, while whacked out and zany… there's definitely a controlled element going on here, and surprisingly enough the songwriting has reached the level where explosive bursts of programmed percussion, wicked technical death metal riffs, ferociously distorted screams, and totally oddball synths and electronics actually stumble upon moments of full-on cohesiveness, and… believe it or not… borderline catchiness. Not in the traditional sense mind you, not even close, but amidst the whirlwind of textures swirling and bouncing around this release, there's just enough melody to grab hold, and there are just enough tangible rhythms/riffs to add significant force, power, and memorability.
Unbeknownst to me upon my first few listens, the disc was recorded by Kurt Ballou, which is interesting in that acquiring said knowledge brought out some "Converge on crack"-isms within the material that I hadn't associated prior (mainly vocally), though of course said links are minimal. I think there's still a little room for tweaking recording/mixing techniques to get the most out of the busy nature of this music, but the production is pretty damn solid for the most part. The guitar tone emits a nice crunch during the harder, slower paced rhythms, the synths and electronics are expertly handled all around, the drum programming matches the aesthetic of the surrounding elements nicely, etc. Well done, there's no question there.
This is definitely a stronger offering than the already solid "Cloak of Love", and not just in terms of songwriting, but also in terms of overall focus and approach. The trio is now at a point where they've retained all of the "weird" characteristics that define what they do, but they're exploring a more… I don't want to say "mature" realm, but… there's definitely a much more serous vibe to these compositions, as well as the rather intriguingly abstract lyrics:
After our flocks are tamed I'll deny everything. As our aged bodies ache I'll deny everything. We've had moral nights with years laying straight (holding off caustic thoughts). But fate laughs we can't last (from the aisle).