Before the Quiet (MVD Audio)
By Craig Regala
This is a great snapshot of something (a band-project as well as an era), as it all was heaved up out of the reconstruction of the bohemian/art-attack via power chord beatdown after the hippie thing had run for the hills (like… back to the land, man), in the mid-late ’70s. The bands that come to mind as era peers are Debris, Chrome, MX-80 Sound, Pere Ubu, and Simply Saucer (SS were a bit earlier, and none of us actually heard’m then, but they fried up some of the same “eggs,” OK ?). This discs not a match for those bands’ LPs cuz CB weren’t really fully online yet, but they were in the game.
The constant member of Controlled Bleeding, Paul Lemos, has written about bands and music a bunch over the years, and I’ve read and enjoyed the fuck out of his musings. Those being concerned with the good hard art stuff from underground prog rock to punk howling, the wide open experimental/space rock zone to “we’re-hammering-on-the-leftover-engines-of-industrialism-and-stuff” thing, as well as full-bore electronic noise from Merzbow on, up, and out, as well as syncopated industro-electronic-metal and weird folk exposition. He really likes music, ya’know? And this is the youthful birth proof, but not an overview of the more eclectic/electronic/symphonic-based things he’s done since. Hit his MySpace page for that. Great, great music there, and it’ll help you come to grips with a mind unfettered by fucknaught.
This CD compiles Paul and cohorts’ efforts to rock out in their own way, kinda dorky/exciting as beginnings often are. I’d say most of Before the Quiet gets things going with quick basic bass/drum/farfisa keyboard chording work not too far off what folks buying Talking Heads and Devo recs were OK with, topped off with guitaring that rolled and buzzed like a teenage King Crimson fan avoiding the reflective parts and going at it. Thankfully, his aesthetic did not lead him towards the Marillion pop side of things many “proggers” found acceptable. Hell, his acceptance of pure squonk from day one (see the free jazz redux howl of “Splattered in the Key of ‘O'”) takes care of that.
So, for some “what’s it like?,” go with the Debris, Chrome, MX-80 Sound, Pere Ubu, and Simply Saucer side, but for his whole deal, dive deeper and harder and you will, as the West Virginians say, “come up with a pretty goddamn big fish!”