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Weekly Alibi Tiny Tunes

By Decomposed Tommy, Andrea Norie

MARCH 9, 1998: 

Alibi Rating Scale:
!!!!!= All work and no play makes Michael a dull boy
!!!!= All work and no play makes Michael a dull boy
!!!= All work and no play makes Michael a dull boy
!!= All work and no play makes Michael a dull boy
!= All work and no play makes Michael a dull boy

Biopsy Cervix State Sequences (Decomposed Skunk Bud Productions)

Brazilian elektro-cyber duo Biopsy serve up a very unique and exciting CD with a sound that will become infectious in the near future. "Indifference" starts out with an almost reggae-like pulse and catchy, harsh vox, then bursts into a cavalcade of electronic deviance, hip- hop samples and thrash guitars over a dance floor beat. On "Hypoxia," they get a little more guitar heavy but continue to produce a mix of electronics, guitars and harsh vocal melodies. Very anthemic. "Cervix" is a catchy piece that will have you singing its chorus and dancing to the breakbeats. "Shade of Sickness" combines rap-like vocals and sonic guitar. These first few tracks will easily appeal to Sepultura and Ministry fans, but the record gets more ambitious as it soars beyond.

"CX State" is a soon-to-be classic elektro favorite! This song combines vocoder vox and clearly shouted lyrics with a catchy chorus and an unstoppable keyboard and intricate rhythm structure. Completely infectious! "Harsh Disposal" is a pure elektro piece with strong vox, heavily distorted, and samples from old school as well. And then there's "Fine Time"--a New Order song, done over in a most energetic, powerful way. "Alter Idem" and "Lumen Obscura" both take turbulent turns into goth, ethereal and experimental sounds--instrumental pieces fueled by harpsichord, tribal percussion, and lush keys. Female voices are sampled for use on these tracks, a pleasing twist. "Aesthetic Crime" is an elektro classic as well, done in a Wumpscut/Leather Strip style. The three remaining tracks are remixes at high BPM and are mainly elektro.

Overall, CX State is an astonishing album full of aggression, dance beats, melody, elektro magic and diversity! Available at underground stores in town! E-mail burnt@nmia.com for more information! !!!!! (DT)

Congo Norvell Abnormals Anonymous (Jetset Records)

You sit at the end of the bar, alone, just like you do every night. Voices clamor above the seething music, music that emanates nightly from an unseen band, shrouded in some lost corner of the smoke hazed room. Music that too infrequently punches through the drunken fog of consciousness in which the uncaring audience live.

Laughter splits through the dense cigarette curtain that passes for air. You turn just in time to see the lilting tones land and curl around the full, crimson lips of a platinum blond who has somehow appeared unnoticed next to you at the bar. Leaning earnestly into her martini, eyes peering up at you demurely from under her thick, black, false eyelashes she lifts her glass slightly and motions toward the bartender with a seductive blink of her eyes. You buy her another drink. She leans in closer. You can smell her not so expensive perfume over the stench of cigars and stale beer. It's going to be a good night.

If this scene sounds familiar, you might be living in your own private film noir lounge. You might be a hard-boiled pulp novella detective. You might be hallucinating. Or you might just be listening to Congo Norvell's latest release, Abnormals Anonymous.

Sally Norvell, with her sultry cigar-tinged Tanqueray-and-tonic vocals, leads ex-Cramps guitarist Kid Congo Powers--and the rest of Congo Norvell--through an audio tale of life among Abnormals Anonymous like a tour guide through the collective Gen X retro unconsciousness. Whether it be with stories of regretful murder as in "Brother Jack" and "Johnny in the Boudoir" or of maddening love lost as in "Dark Eyes" and "The Blue Sky," Norvell's voice weaves through jangley, heroin-pop rhythms as adeptly as any black widow temptress.

The songs on Abnormals Anonymous, with much help from Norvell's throaty vocals, certainly evoke that death-courting feeling of today's alcoholic youth more than any Cowboy Junkies song you'd ever hope to hear. More than any heroin-shooting British Glam band. More than PJ Harvey. More than Nick Cave. More than even Leonard Cohen. And with Mark Eitzel occasionally adding his own brand of what-is-there-to-live-for male lead vocals, even the songs that seem to have happy-ish lyrics and kitschy Casiotone drums, toy piano and therein leave the brightest room feeling like a dark basement cocktail lounge.

On Abnormals Anonymous, Congo Norvell take martini drinking, heroin chic to a new musical high. !!!!1/2 (AN)

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