'An existential, genre-defying examination of the human condition’
Meg Berridge
18:54 16th July 2020

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If anything, what we need in this day and age is honesty. Would it hurt anyone to just be frank and tell the truth? In Crack Cloud, we’ve found post-modern heroism. Our world, asphyxiated by the grasp of capitalism leaves no breathing space for candour, however, the powerful Canadian collective have provided a much needed catharsis with their latest eight-track revolt and our salvation, Pain Olympics. 

Crack Cloud have produced an existential, genre-defying examination of the human condition. Pain Olympics is a savoury cocktail of tenacious motifs and shrewd vocals where vaudeville grins at post-punk and psych-rock flirts with hip-hop. 

The album begins with the meditative sound of water gushing from a faucet and tickling the surface it falls upon — only Crack Cloud could find solace in the mundane. Although, this air of tranquility is swiftly blown as a blaring guitar enters in a brazen fashion like the shrill call of a siren. This is ‘Post Truth (Birth Of A Nation)’. The track quickly becomes a whirlpool of sound with the brisk marching of drums caressed by choral flourishes, harp and soft keys. If it were visual, it would be nothing short of a cinematic masterpiece. 

Anxiety-inducing is in the Pain Olympics job description. ‘Bastard Basket’ and ‘Something’s Gotta Give’ provide a strenuous, bass-heavy warm-up for ‘The Next Fix’. The track itself focuses on the toils and troubles of addiction. Circling around the same riff and lead singer Zach Choy’s rapid lines, it mimics fast thoughts, hearts pounding, heads-a-banging against a wall. 

‘Favour Your Fortune’ could have been sold to Brockhampton. The track switches to a pulsating lo-fi groove decorated with a boisterous half-sung, half-shouted vocal. On the flipside but continuing the effortless approach to vocals, ‘Ouster Stew’ could have been plucked straight from the 80s. It’s a disco of playful synth and adventurous drum and saxophone solos. 

‘Tunnel Vision’ is the evil twin of ‘Ouster Stew’. The riffs are slightly darker, undoubtedly more intense and thrice as sinister. Repetition is their forte, with the same spritely guitar part being hammered throughout underneath a wave of tumultuous noise. 

The last track of the album boasts lethargy in place of their signature full-throttle nature. ‘Angel Dust (Eternal Peace)’ is like a smack in the face from a wall of humid air. Overly theatrical in comparison to its counterparts, the song is crafted from soupy white noise and vocals that could only be provided by ethereal beings. Crack Cloud have certainly provided with this piece for an emotional apocalypse. 

Pain Olympics is released on 17 July 2020 via Meat Machine.

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