Ok, ok, ok. As promised a few days ago, I decided to give this entire Cynic EP (currently streaming in full on Pitchfork) the opportunity to impress me in the way that the title track failed to do. Spoiler alert: my opinion has actually been down-graded quite a bit. Read on…
So, we start off with “Amidst the Coals,” which is basically an intro to the previously-listened-to “Carbon-Based Anatomy.” This track features guest vocals by Amy Correia, which are interesting, and that is a good thing because that’s basically all that is happening through the 2:12 running time. Next, the title track still has horrible electronic drum sounds and autotuney robotic singing, and still does nothing for me. “Bija” is a brief interlude with some cool Middle-Eastern/South-Asian sounding percussion parts, plus a little bit of piano and a very little bit of sitar. This would not sound out of place at all on a Nile record, but unfortunately here, it just leads from bad to worse. For the next song, “Box Up My Bones,” I was brave and held out for all of the first two minutes. But, as soon as the awful indie-rock “Garden State soundtrack”-style vocals came in, my hand immediately and instinctively lunged for the “skip” button. On the EP’s last proper song, “Elves Beam Out,” the singing isn’t quite so bad; very poppy but in a mid-career Beatlesque way. At least, I think that’s what it sounds like — the deluge of synth sounds and electronic noises that are dumped over the whole thing sort of wash out any bits of good song that might have existed. Finally, “Hieroglyph” – this background music sounds somewhat like Alan Parsons‘ “Nucleus” (the instrumental lead-in to “The Show Must Go On” on I, Robot), although it doesn’t lead into anything at all except the end of the EP. To me, it sounded much more like an interlude than an outro in that it leaves you expecting something more. Mind you, I didn’t say wanting more, just expecting more.
Well, I tried, but I am still utterly baffled at the excitement over this release. I find it very telling that, as of the time I listened to the stream, the total listens for each track went as follows (in this order): 4953, 3912, 2807, 2647, 2122, 1780. Very clearly, most people lost interest at some point along the way. Anyway, that’s just my cynical (no pun intended, honest!) take on all of this. Feel free to listen for yourself; if you like it, by all means, please use the following links to grab yourself a copy, and then go ahead and ignore every opinion I ever have about anything from now on. We can just agree to disagree. Either way, leave me a comment, let me know what you think!
Cynic – Carbon-Based Anatomy (CD | digital download)