Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Review -- SCREWTAPE LEWIS -- Finding Ways TO Self Destruct

Screwtape Lewis

When I saw that this CD was produced with Jay Semko, I was immediately intrigued. Semko, fans will remember is a former member of the Northern Pikes, who has done a couple of excellent solo albums, most notably Mouse, and had been involved with other outstanding Saskatchewan CDs such as Kim Lafontaine's Life Happens.
With Semko involved I figured Screwtape Lewis would offer up something good, and my faith in Semko was again rewarded.
This is a intriguing CD to say the least. There are some very different takes on music here.
For example, there is almost a polka meets electronica on the cut Musik For Girls, and guess what, weirdly it works.
The band's spot on myspace.com explains their sound as follows; "Electronics sputter and guitars buzz as two drummers, one on a traditional kit, the other punishing an oil barrel, pound out militant dance floor marches. Like some post apocalyptic Salvation Army band, the front man shape shifts between rock evangelist and art-rock method actor."
That may be a little over-the-top for effect, but it lets you know this Edmonton-based band does things just a little bit different.
Now don't run from the idea of being different. Generally in the case of music different is good, and in this particular case it's very good.
There are great cuts here, including All Great Empires Crumble Under Their Own Weight, and The Tyranny of Little Things, and Anger Is Exhausting, the best cut on the CD.
This music is fresh, with the band bringing the energy of punk to the music, yet with a willingness to turn to electronica to change things up musically, something which works well on cuts such as The Planets Are Smashing.
Lead vocalist Randl Lewis Bailer is also top-notch, helping carry the message carrying lyrics smoothly through the musical twists here.
Check out the band at www.screwtapelewis.com

-- Review first appeared in Yorkton This Week newspaper March 11, 2009 - Yorkton, SK. Canada

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