Reviews for CREATURE WITH THE ATOM BRAIN-
I Am The Golden Gate Bridge
CREATURE WITH THE ATOM BRAIN- I Am The Golden Gate Bridge
See now here's an album you wouldn't want to meet down a dark alley.
Oh it's not that 'I Am The Golden Gate Bridge', the debut full-length
from one-man band Creature With The Atom Brain, is a nasty, violent
thing. No, the real disturbing stuff here is in the details. In titles
like 'Rapeman's Scalp', in lines about shiny guns and strange smells,
and in songs that sound like robots waking up and taking over using
all our electric guitars. And then there's the concern that comes with
never knowing what this Creature (Aldo Struyf to his mum, member of
Millionaire and The Mark Lanegan Band on his CV) is going to do next.
Over just 45-minutes here Struyf concocts nails-down-a-chalkboard chills
('The Psychedelic World…'), commands off-kilter doom ('Blackened
Roses…'), plays garage rock so fuzzed-up and furious that it makes
Queens Of The Stone Age sound like Fall Out Boy ('Not A Sect') and twists
a folksy, country turn into the background music for the most frightening
journey of your life ('Broken Flowers Grow'). Providing light among
the shade are sizzling synth lines, memorable riffs and irresistible
melodies too so delve deeper if you dare but do remember to keep repeating,
'it's only a record, it's only a record…'.
- dirty grinding grizzled fuzzed up blues - think deep purple shimmying
up to the melvins and kicking several shades out the zep - gnarled boogie
from Belgium - bugger all info alas though we must admit being rather
taken by ’not a sect’ which to these ears sounds like jaz
killing joke taking charge at the steering wheel of ministry’s
hotrod and making road kill out of bearded chart truckers zz top. Its
mooted that there’s a whole album worth of this stuff around ready
to terrorise a record rack near you shortly.
I Am The Golden Gate Bridge is the first full-length offering from Creature
With The Atom Brain, and an ideal choice for the connoisseur of gritty
rock and damaged melody.
The Creature With The Atom Brain is better known as Aldo Struyf; the
name may not be instantly recognisable, but if I mention that he played
guitar and keys for Millionaire and fulfils synth-playing duties for
no less a luminary than Mark Lanegan, you’ll realise that you’ve
probably heard something with him playing on it at some point.
It’ll also give you some idea of the sonic pedigree that informs
I Am The Golden Gate Bridge, but not quite as much as Struyf’s
confessed adoration of The 13th Floor Elevators and The Butthole Surfers;
Creature With The Atom Brain make fuzzy stripped-back rock’n'roll
noise with a generous helping of weird.
As with all good rock music, the secret is in the melodies. Creature
With The Atom Brain have a good ear for riffs that are immensely catchy
despite having that “damn, I could play that” simplicity
that makes you want to pick up an instrument and join in. I Am The Golden
Gate Bridge is the sort of album that you find yourself whistling along
At least, I found that I was whistling along to it – and what
that says about my mental state, I have no idea, but it may not be entirely
positive from a psychiatrist’s viewpoint. Because as catchy as
the tunes on I Am The Golden Gate Bridge may be, they’re also
kind of schizoid and off-kilter.
Creature With The Atom Brain seem to have a knack of developing simple
but slightly jarred rhythms and riffs that either run on longer or repeat
sooner than you expect them to, making you feel as if maybe you zoned
out for half a second and missed a bit.
The instrumentation of I Am The Golden Gate Bridge adds to the sense
of hazy disorientation, too. Guitar riffs, rough and abrasive, crunched
up like used tinfoil by distortion pedals of old and dubious provenance;
synth patches that you’d be hard pressed to call anything other
than evil; monologue mantras and stoned drawls for the vocals, some
of which are contributed by Struyf’s buddies Tim “Millionaire”
Vanhamel and Mark “Mark Lanegan” Lanegan.
Creature With The Atom Brain make drug music, basically. By that I don’t
necessarily mean music made under the influence of drugs (though I wouldn’t
want to rule it out, either), nor music advocating the use of drugs.
But as an example of the sort of skewed reality that chemically assisted
living might create in the world between your ears, I Am The Golden
Gate Bridge rates pretty highly.
It also rates pretty highly as a dirty and damaged rock’n'roll
album. Creature With The Atom Brain conjure up the vibes of long hot
summer days spent strung out in badly-furnished rooms in search of inspiration
and cheap alcohol, or bumbling around the strip-joint neighbourhood
stoned out of your brain. Just remember what to say when the cops stop
you and ask who you are - “I Am The Golden Gate Bridge, man!”
CREATURE WITH THE ATOM BRAIN: "I Am The Golden Gate
Bridge" (Jesus Factory Records)
RELEASED? 31st March
SOUNDS LIKE? Wonderland, wonder-friggin-land. Space-rawking,
deadpan, dead good 'world of riff' kind of concept album. It's like
some aliens have turned up and based their entire appreciation of our
culture on the broadcast of a Hawkwind headlined Glastonbury and are
making friends by showing us how the blues make it all better, and they
IS IT ANY GOOD? It's boss, wicked, radical and durned tooting. It's
on here, now and loud and we've got everything else!
WHERE IS IT? www.myspace.com/creaturewiththeatombrain
Creature With The Atom Brain
I Am The Golden Gate Bridge
Creature with the atom brain is an Antwerp based project revolving mainly
around one man, Aldo Struyf. They produce sleazy rock in the vein of
Black Sabbath and QOTSA however this is cleverly blended with pop and
experimental influences to create a sordid but strangely sumptuous record.
The production is crisp yet rips through barriers when necessary, this
is a record which isn’t afraid to say and do what it thinks. It
sets up conventions and them brings them down. When you think you hear
a gentle acoustic guitar break creep in, a low-end riff will enter over
the top and when you think the record may break into extravagance it
doesn’t. Guitar solos are well handled if it is possible to call
them guitar solo’s at all and the drums always seem spot on. If
the record isn’t always coherent at every stage then that’s
a necessary exclusion as it’s the ability to keep your testicles
shaking and your heart beating precociously fast at any given moment
which is the real strength of this record. This may make the band seem
like they are ridiculously heavy, to an extent they are, but it’s
their restraint them makes them a success. Tension is built through
repetition and atmosphere; there are no metal gimmicks involved. If
clear melody is your preference then maybe this record is not for you,
there are melodies hear but they will not instantly hit you.
’16 inch revolver’ manages to show off many of the bands
positive aspects in less than four minutes. It’s dirty rock but
there’s an obscure funk element here which also evident in ‘park
my car outside the record store’. Its funk it the loosest sense
but it’s definitely there. There’s also a psychedelic element
which is oddly entrancing and the vocals being low in the mix really
adds to this. This feature also works to full effect in ‘Black
out, new hit’, the words ‘you don’t smell fresh, you
cut my skin, I aint your friend no more’ are clearly audible but
there’s plenty which isn’t, the world he creates is veiled
and glimpses are offered into his off-kilter mind without ever fully
revealing it. The guitars are used to full effect on this album; they
lead the way while the vocals often come in short-sharp bursts, slowly
intensifying. The instrumentation sometimes even becomes weirdly exotic
and on ‘rapeman’s scalp’ a sporadic acoustic guitar
and processed vocals lead into this. Journeyman Mark Lanegan contributes
vocals on crawl like a dog, probably the most single-esque track on
the whole album. A simple riff is juxtaposed with production trickery
and pounding drums, making it instant and hard hitting when compared
to the former track showing this band are certainly not one-dimensional.
If you are going to listen to this record, then do it properly! This
is definitely not one that will become your favourite record on first
listen. Lock yourself in and get your headphones out, if you invest
in this record you will get a lot out of it. It’s not the most
coherent record of all time but listening to it is thought provoking
and blood-curdling at the same time. The fact it is not instantly accessible
in fact turns out to be one of its most promising features. Repeated
listens reveal darker riffs hidden under layers of noise, the drumming
really opens up and the vocals become increasingly eerie becoming ingrained
on your membrane. In short, ‘I am the golden gate bridge’
is a fine debut.