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Posts Tagged ‘Covers’

Black Light Burns Holes In Bedsheets

Posted by Scotio on June 28, 2008

It’s been a little over a year since Wes Borland, former Limp Bizkit guitarist, released the material from his creative output known as Black Light Burns. Since then, he’s gone on to underground success for his new act; tearing up club stages, and displaying a much more gothic styling to his former stage persona. For the most part, he’s had a good deal of nice reviews for the debut album Cruel Melody, but there are always naysayers no matter what you do or who you are. Still, fans of the band have been eager to hear the next album from the act, as Borland said that he will waste little time hitting the studio up to release it. Then, it was announced that the next offerings from the band would be a CD/DVD combo. The anticipation rose. Then, it was announced that the CD would be full of covers and other little odds and ends that didn’t make the debut album. At that point, the anticipation froze. “Cover album? WTF!” the fans said. Then, when they announced the list of cover songs, it was revealed that you couldn’t find something reasonable to allow hearts to soar for eagerness of hearing the BLB crew ripping through the tunes. But, still, as shaky as the fans were, they were still oddly curious to know what the material would sound like. Me, being a fan of the band, I was similarly eager, yet slightly put off. After all, BLB is an Industrial band. There aren’t any Industrial covers or material that inspired Industrial music being thrown in the pot.

So, when I received the album, you could only imagine my wanting and stalling of hitting the play button to listen. Still, curiosity always controls in the end, doesn’t it? The moment it came on, I will admit, I as still riding the fence. But, the twenty second mark hit, and I found myself lost in the world where Black disappears and White glows with a blue hue. The cover of Lard’s “Forkboy” sounded incredibly energetic and extremely chaotic. Borland’s vocals on the track, amazingly, are really great. He doesn’t even sound like Wes. He sounds like a man possessed. A creature hidden inside of the enigmatic music maker. Something that headbangers would flock to see in a live performance. The song assaults the listener with its aggressive guitar work and the hair-pulling visualization of the singer in front of the mic. In truth, it took me back to the days of the Broken EP. If you don’t know what that is, then you’re really wasting your time reading this review in the first place, aren’t you?

What followed next was the thriller, Love And Rocket’s “So Alive.” Again, outside of his realm, Borland’s vocals seem perfect. The Industrial reformation of the song seems so brilliant. It isn’t heavily distorting, nor isn’t playing a quiet backseat role to the movement of the melody. Like a fine Chef’s work, it seasons the song just right. The Post-Punk attack that is Sisters Of Mercy’s “Lucretia My Reflection” seems like it would be such an off-shot for Borland & Co. Yet, with his insanely brilliant insight, he tames that beast and makes it his bitch. Riding it with such insecure confidence that you’d might even want to go and check his location of birth . . . maybe he’s a Brit in disguise. It perfectly captures that “Look at me, I’m shying away” feeling that Robert Smith tagged as Post-Punk Perverted Cynosureness(he didn’t create that term, I just tagged him as that).

There are some really odd parts that might take a few listens to get it easily down to swallow. Like their rendition PJ Harvery’s “Rid Of Me.” Don’t know, but after hearing the great covers before it, it just sets out as being awkward. Another one is Fiona Apple’s “On The Bound.” It’s not bad. It’s just so far fetched from what you’ve been hearing. That is, of course, if you never heard Borland’s Big Dumb Face. And, speaking of BDF, they even do a cover of one of their songs “Blood Red Head On Fire.” I always thought it was odd when someone does a cover of their own songs. Is that even truly declared a cover? But, I will state that it is a more cohesive sound than the original. I suppose because he has an actual band doing the positions and it isn’t all on him.

After the 10th track, the music is switched over to original compositions by the band. What kicks it off is the song “Drowning Together, Dying Alone.” It, for the most part, is the sister track of the song “New Hunger” that was featured on their first LP. Housing acoustic guitars in place of electronics and electric guitars makes the song more mellow and dreamy . . . despite its morbid title. Also, being entirely instrumental sure helps with that. “Falling” also contains material heard before. Expanding on a solo that was featured on the debut album, as well. The slightly goofy electronic melody played throughout (I couldn’t tell if it was simply a guitar with a weird effect or an actual electronic styling) sounds almost like it’s 8-bit/Chiptune styled.

Mr. Borland dives deeper into the Industrial world on the track “Ribbons.” Though it’s under a minute and a half long, it leaves a lasting and eerie impression on listeners. Something that isn’t easy to accomplish, and you wouldn’t have actually expected from this unexpected guy. This song starts the trend of very schizophrenic songs that follow after it. Stuff that seems to have been created when Wes wasn’t eager to take his medication. Stuff that, though it’s so strange, you find yourself questioning your own sanity for your enjoyment of it.

All in all, this album is not only a surprising one, but one that I feel bad about having questioned it in the first place. All those out there that are on the unknown about checking this out, and have enjoyed the first album needs to go out on a limb and snatch this up. In a very bold statement, I will encourage you to download this first, to see if it does tickle your fancy fully, then, if it does, purchase it and support him. Though he does come from a heavily commercial band, he is now on the underground circuit. So, every piece of support does let him know that his efforts at branching out are worth it.

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