Album Review: “Pesticide”

Having recently received some lovely reviews on my own work, I feel the time has come to share some of the love around, so the next few posts will be reviews of works I have recently discovered and felt were deserving of a wider audience. To commence, a punk-Goth album by an independent local (as in Welsh) band …


“Pesticide” (by Clusterfuck)

pesticide

I should state, for the sake of honesty, that the founder, drummer, and producer of this band is one of my best and oldest friends, and also one of the nicest people I know and one of the first people to support me in my transition, so pardon me if I am a little biased … That said, I can impartially state that I know few people so committed to their art, so perfectionist in their instincts (I have seen him lose faith in and abandon many a promising track, or take great persuasion to release them), and so wonderfully eclectic in their tastes, with musical influences ranging from The Sex Pistols and Daft Punk, to lesser-known 1950s Rockabilly idols, to contemporary classical composers such as Giacinto Scelsi and Arvo Pärt. This commitment and eclecticism is reflected in his latest album project, the second with this particular band following the almost-as-good “Dear Mortal,” (or visit here to listen online) but I would call this a definite artistic progression, more unified in its structure).

It opens on a epic note with “Reach Out,” with soaring vocals reminiscent of the interludes on Pink Floyd’s “Dark Side of the Moon,” although by and large this album is far ‘punkier’ than it is ‘proggy’. At any rate, though, it makes for a striking overture, and an impressive lead into the first actual song of the album; “Paranoia.” This piece is as dark as its name suggests and one of the album’s highlights, with a sinister, driving techno beat accompanying the eerie lyrics and the whispering ‘inner voices’ chorus. The Gothic mood continues in tracks such as “Death Begins” and the instrumental “We Are the Void,” the latter in particular being another highlight, its dark electronic rhythms being varied by haunting harmonica fills that seem to echo out of the void (appropriately). Also in this mood – and another of the album’s finest offerings – is their cover version of T. Rex’s “Get It On.” It somehow fits seamlessly into the group’s musical and vocal style, carried along by some beautifully haunting guitar work.

Other tracks, especially to the midsection of the album set a lighter, more relaxed mood, especially the infectiously catchy “Besties,” “Electric Distortion,” (a track on synesthesia, the vivid lyrics delivered in a comically deadpan fashion by the guest vocalist), and the wickedly satirical yet outrage-inducing “Trumped,” consisting mostly of ‘lyrics’ culled from the 45th US President’s most reprehensible statements, along with well-chosen mocking, comically-timed samples. One would love to imagine him hearing it … The satirical mood becomes much darker in the final tracks, with “Money” and “Tazer” dealing with poverty, prostitution and police brutality, but it all concludes on a mercifully upbeat track with “Death Race.”

With tremendous energy, variety, a social conscience, a wicked sense of humour, and a remarkably strong production (especially considering its humble origins, with no big studio or equivalent backing), I have no hesitation in recommending this (with the sole caveat that their language can be quite strong … as the band name itself implies). On a final note, here is me in some rather old footage (taken around 2015) being in a music video for their first album …

12 thoughts on “Album Review: “Pesticide”

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  1. Is there a place to listen to some of that album online? I listened to the video you posted (and you remind me in it of an old friend of mine), and am interested in hearing bits of the new album if possible. I don’t use itunes, but I do listen to Anna’s ToS all the time now on whatever website she put that on.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. He says the following …

        “ah. errrr
        nope ! not at mo!
        but maybe soon. or tell them if they hate it i’ll refund them”

        (He would do, incidentally. Painfully honest guy.)

        Like

      2. I can’t buy a cd overseas, though, and won’t buy a download since my computer is a dinosaur so I don’t music on it since it crashes. Hmm. I am the kind to buy cds, but it would be prohibitive to ship.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I will pass that on to him, if you’re happy for me to. He seems inspired by your enquiry to start looking into more varied ways to distribute, which I think would be great for him and the band.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. I agree. Especially with the international internet thing, that are good ways. Maybe introduce him to Anna, who seems pretty smart on the distribution angle, or others you know with albums…? The more good stuff available the better!

        Liked by 1 person

      5. These days though you can record tracks on Audacity or whatever program and send them back and forth…it’s been a while, so the technology may have changed, but it can happen.

        Liked by 2 people

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