Sunday, November 22, 2009

Review: Cerumentric - The Progress Of The Transplant

Artist: Cerumentric
Album: The Progress of The Transplant
Rating: 4.0 out of 5
In a nutshell: disillusioned rock 'n roll with synths and laptops

"The Progress of The Transplant," is the second album by the one-man electronic synth rock band, Cerumentric, formed by Erick Fabian Sr., who hails from Philippines. Erick has performed under several bands and under several monikers such as Lewis*Staples, and cites My Bloody Valentine and Toad The Wet Sprocket as influences and notably excludes the expected popular techno/electronic/club names as his inspiration.

I'm very tempted to label his music as 16-bit, or at least 16-bit inspired, because it cannot help but remind me of the 2-D days of Sonic The Hedgehog and Super Mario Bros. Remember that amazing casino level and the legendary background music in Sonic The Hedgehog 2? Yeah, imagine a whole album of that. Now imagine if that Sonic The Hedgehog 2: The Casino Night Zone album had been taken over by a crushing sense of disillusionment. Or simply Holy Fuck taken over by a bunch of video game geeks.

Now I can't say if there's a recurring theme in the album, since it's mostly 'instrumental,' but repeated shouts of 'freedom' on "Freedom (Funkatronic)" seem to be a cry of despair rather than one of empowerment, of bleeps and bloops and bemusement at the current state of the music industry that consistently overlooks and doesn't seem to understand him. This is definitely a recurring theme in Fabian's life, and he's not alone. It's easy to conclude that the majority of the population can overlook so many talented people while at the same time worshipping talentless 'singers' whose only real reason for being famous is being famous in the first place.

Okay, let's focus on the music before I go off ranting. Nobody wants that. Cerumentric's premise is simple. Play rock ' roll, and replace the traditional instruments with synths, keyboards, toy pianos and probably Sonic running around grabbing gold rings. And oh, play all the instruments yourself. In the hands of less talented musicians and composers, this would have gone down like a piece of brick in the ocean, but with Erick Fabian, it works wonderfully.

Filled with melodic hooks, grooves and bloops combined and a knack for crafting wonderfully imagined songs with some help from technology, Cerumentric's album is an incredible amalgamation of passion, disillusionment, honesty and hard work.

Have a listen and buy it here.

Signing out

Over and out

Now playing: Cerumentric - Don't Back Down
via FoxyTunes

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