With my long-standing penchant for music of the psych variety, it was a bit of a stick-on that I’d be right into this one.
Firstly, the background:
CYNIC GURU is the brainchild of Roland Hartwell, a Japanese / American violinist with The Iceland Symphony Orchestra. With bassist Ricky Korn the only other permanent member that I can ascertain, they initiated the band in Hartwell’s home city of Los Angeles, but moved operations to Reykjavik, Iceland in 2001 when Roland began his work with the orchestra.
However, although ‘Catastrophe,’ does feature Hartwell’s violin playing, it certainly doesn’t linger around the fringes of Classical music. Rather, it mixes a heavy psych grind with a more Sixties / Seventies styled psychedelic vocal harmony, combining this with a pounding beat enveloped in a swathe of dramatic strings. The video below pretty much confirms that this is prime movie soundtrack material, whilst at the same time losing none of its impact as a stand-alone track.
B-side ‘Secret’ is a bit more of the same really. It’s slower and with a bit of a grunge feel to it. The opening is quieter and builds with some nice rising key changes, the vocals soft and hushed in the main, although the chorus has a hardened rock crust surrounding it – an atmospheric rock track, I’d say. Nice.
(Released through The Birdman Records on 4th July 2011)
(8.5 / 10)