Album review: CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX – White Light Generator

CRIPPLED BLACK PHOENIX – White Light Generator

Cool Green Recordings ( Release date 17.03.14)

Crippled Black Phoenix are a difficult band to review. This is mainly because they refuse to conform and are, therefore, hard to pigeon hole. Perhaps this is something that should be celebrated in a world of bands conforming to the latest big thing, but this depends on how you view CBP’s prog rock musings.

I have encountered the band before, most recently with their ‘Live In Poznan’ double effort last year, and have been left with mixed feelings. I approached this album with an open mind and after a few listens I felt I was finally gaining a better understanding of what CBP are all about.

The album opens with the acoustic, almost country, number ‘Sweeter Than You’ which is pleasant enough. You then get into the album proper with ‘No – parts 1 and 2’, Part 1 being short and punchy whilst Part 2 is an extended prog workout containing some excellent guitar work which brought Dave Gilmour to mind.

‘Black Light Generator’ is the next track of note, it is one of the tracks with a harder rock edge to it which I enjoyed. It is when the band go into lo-fi mode on tracks like ‘Wake Me Up When It’s Time To Sleep’ that my interest wanders. It’s not a bad song but for me it just doesn’t go anywhere and that I find is my issue with the band. When they are rocking they do so with conviction but on the more reflective numbers I find the output a tad dull.

‘White Light Generator’ is a prog album of note that will go down well with the band’s growing fanbase and will no doubt attract new fans to the fold. I did enjoy this album in parts and appreciated the musicianship on show, however for me the jury is still out.  ***

Review by Dave Wilson

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