Cathode Ray Syndrome – Cambridge, Man On The Moon

Hey!  Get off your arse!  Turn that fucking television off!  You want a song to live and die to?  You want a sound to reverberate around your skull and actually make you feel something?  Well, fucking do it then!

So they did.  And good for us, pop-pickers, because that means we don’t have to.  This is proper rock’n’roll people!  They recorded their second practice; it got them their first gig.  Tonight is only their sixth, but they’re as tight as a homophobe’s arse.  The bassist wears a Manics style homemade t-shirt, and most of the four are wearing make-up.  There’s no vocals…of course, that’s just so 20th century now.  Post-rock is the new rock, people!  Although there is something slightly contrived in the slow but steady upsurge of post-rock bands, greased by the oil of the inevitable comparisons with veterans Mogwai and Godspeed You Black Emperor, there is always the hope that a band will do something just a little different.

Cathode Ray Syndrome (CRS* to their mates) have the potential and the vision to achieve, if only based on their manifesto.  When they say things like ‘we live our lives to the accompaniment of saccharine ballads, describing unmarred love we will never experience’, you be forgiven to think ‘hello Richey Edwards’ but its still better than saying nothing at all.  And CRS* will be a band that will always say something.  That is indisputable.  The only problem lies with whether they will ever get out of Cambridge.  But with the sheer scope of beauty that they manage to conjure, they currently sound like one of the genre’s most innovative - for them not to achieve exposure would be unfair yet expected, due to record companies needing to take a big risk upon CRS* potential. The band’s brave ‘no surrender’ attitude is pure rock’n’roll, but could also be their downfall.  Their task should be to get beyond this genre and fulfilling something more extraordinary – otherwise they will become another one of those that follow recipes and formulas – quiet bit, loud bit, quiet bit is good when you first hear Slint but does it have any relevance when its all been done before?  And whilst they do it superbly, they can do much more.

So forget what you know about music.  CRS don’t even play music.  They make art.  Think of them, not as a band, but as an art collective.  Whether they can prove me right and be different to the rest, only time will tell.

Collen Chandler