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Friday, February 17, 2012

Low Pop Suicide - On The Cross of Commerce

Name: Low Pop Suicide
Album: On the Cross of Commerce
Year: 1993
Style: Alternative, Gothic New Wave,
Similar Bands: Nine Inch Nails, Gene Loves Jezebel, Lucy Show, Tool, Filter, Alice in Chains
"One-Word" Review: Droning Heavy Alternative
Based Out Of: Los Angeles
Label: World Domination, Capitol Records
On The Cross of Commerce - Cover, Album Art, CD Tray
On The Cross of Commerce - Liner Notes, CD, CD Back

On The Cross of Commerce (1993)
  1. Here We Go 4:29
  2. Kiss Your Lips 3:00
  3. My Way 4:07
  4. Disengaged 3:10
  5. It's Easy 2:12
  6. Your God Can't Feel My Pain 4:22
  7. Crush 4:30
  8. Ride 4:42
  9. Gimme Gimme 4:01
  10. Imagine My Love 4:24
  11. All In Death Is Sweet 4:42
Album Rating (1-10): 4.0

Members & Other Bands:
Dave Allen - Producer, Bass, Art Direction (Gang Of Four, Shriekback, The Elastic Purejoy, King Swamp)
Rick Boston - Producer, Guitars, Vox, Art Direction (Rickie Lee Jones, The Januaries)
Dave Ogilvie - Reproducer, reconstructor
Ken Marshall- Engineering
Jeff Ward - Drums
Michael Vail Blum - Recoding & Mixing
Brian Gardner - Mastering, Vocals
Chrissie Scheft - Vox
Cynthia Coulter - Bass
Steven R Gilmore - Sleeve and Art Direction
Ron Stone - MGMT
Susie McKinley - MGMT
Allison Hamamura - Agent
Fred Ansis - Laywer
Melle Steagal - Drums

Unknown-ness: I kind of remember knowing these guys, but I cannot recall what this album is like. I got this in a bottom shelf dollar bin in a California record shop in 99, but I don’t remember why. From the gothic artwork, and religious / angry at religion wording, I imagine that this will sound like depressing goth rock or industrial, or some sort of blend spurred on from Nine Inch Nails fame. I imagine it might be like the band Stabbing Westward or, just from the name probably, Pop Will Eat Itself.

Album Review: “Here We Go” starts with a grinding metal guitar, but with an echo, it feels very dream pop distant. The vocals are smoothly gliding over the melody, almost like it is played backwards. It feels very much like 80’s gothic new wave, updated a bit for the 90’s with a deep alternative bass lines in the background. But the foreground displays the ringing guitars and it sounds very ethereal.
“Kiss Your Lips” rocks out much heavier and darker from the start. This sounds a little like Tool (music and vox) or mid-career Metallica (heavy guitar breakdown in chorus).
“My Way” is heavy again, but there is a melody underneath the heavy guitar that is much catchier, and a fun bouncy baseline. But the rest of the song is a little empty. It is very vocals centered, which are not that interesting or catchy. But they do sound like Filter or any heavy alternative band.
“Disengaged” has a muted jangly guitar in the outset, but then a heavier bass line comes in, and the rest of the song stomps to a darker beat. The nervous, fluttering vocals remind me of NIN in this song, but the music is not nearly as unique or groundbreaking. There is anger in the vocals during the chorus, but it feels like an act.
“It's Easy” fades into with a heavy, metal guitar playing a jangly hook. The vocals almost have a country feel to them, the way they sing over the loud, muddled guitar. No percussion or bass, just fuzzed metal guitar and a very sing-song melody.

“Your God Can't Feel My Pain” starts with a humming, Middle Eastern tinged intro, and then comes crashing in with a heavy guitar hook and Alice in Chains style vocals, but the hum remains, amplified if anything. The hum seems to grow, promising to overtake the entire song. The song itself is somewhat one dimensional, as it is just a growing buzz, not changing too much or offering much diversity in its 4+ minute length.
“Crush” takes us back into the gothic new wave & jangly, soaring, guitar pop. Full on instrumental for the first minute and a half, we are joined with deep vocals, chant-spoken over the music, like Fad Gadget or Bay of Pigs. But the majority of the song is just the ringing guitars and drone rock.
“Ride” continues the dark new wave, with a slight update of electronic alteration of the guitars to make them sound like they are skipping. The vocals are strained but emotional. It has a bit of a programmed, mechanical edge to it, with some of the percussion sounding a little industrial.
“Gimme Gimme” begins with a drum beat only. And then the bass is added. Next are shrill power drill guitars followed by a Duran Duran style rhythm guitar. He instruments are added one at a time like many Nitzer Ebb songs. The vocals are overly strained, and they sound like they are ready to explode like a bottle of shaken soda.
“Imagine My Love” starts right off with a Middle Eastern feel again. But it starts with an intensity and speed that remains constantly driving. The chorus repeats at random times it feels, but it is one of those annoyingly catchy hooks that resonates and burns itself into your memory. The song ends with the guitar hook from 2 Live Crew’s My Seven Bizzos, which was stolen from Jimi Hendix’s “Voodoo Child.”
“All In Death Is Sweet” has a slow gradual start with random guitar and drum fills. Then a liquidy guitar begins playing lovingly, reminding me of Ween jam songs. There is finally cohesion of the drums and guitar, but it is a slow, wispy ballad. As a complete instrumental, the song tries to capture a Jimi Hendrix Jam Band vibe, with the instruments slipping in and out of structure, and never really sticking together long enough to catch a beat.

Stand Out Track: Imagine My Love

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