If they actually made horror movies about real horror -- like life in L.A. -- The Lifetime Achievment Awards
would be an ideal soundtrack. So turn the lights off (or light a candle if you have to) and prepare to get uncomfortable. You won't need any of those run-of-the-mill serial killers or dead people posing as ghosts to get your nerves tingling when you have the disease-ridden laments of the Centimeters to entertain you.
The songs within the Centimeters' second full-length seem to be decomposed from any morbid thought that might gurgle up from the depths of main songwriter Max Gomberg's brain. Be prepared, the subject matter here consists of such engrossing topics as insanity, disease (check out the dying gasps on "We Want Gmos"), fetishes and more than just a few taboos (which we all enjoy now and then). Who are we to judge anyway, when you get a group of people like this together that take the time and effort to make one of the most scarily beautiful albums that you have heard in years.
The opening chords of "Julian" ring out like a band that could have been Syd Barrett's roommates, making you think you've heard this one before. You would be dead wrong. Few reference points can be found for the rest of the album, although the Velvet Underground and/or some of Nico's darker solo moments - as if there are any other kind - might apply. These though, are really nothing more than starting points for the wonderfully chaotic cacophony to follow. Vocalist Nora V. Keyes (part banshee, part cabaret singer) commands your attention while gleefully sending a chill down your spine. These brilliantly off-kilter tunes can have you lost one minute in the weeping violin of newcomer Rebecca Lynn, and marveling at the mayhem that these guys wrench from their instruments the next.
I'm really glad the Americans are finally catching on to the metric system.
RECOMMENDED TRACKS: "Connie Francis", "Julian", "We Want Gmos", "Daddy's Gone"
- Howard Biggar, CHSR Radio, Fredericton, NB
By Howard Biggar
Jul 14, 2002