Welcome to the musical meandering insights of Aaron Joy. Here you'll find 600 reviews of CDs & DVDs of rock & metal in all its variations, mainstream & indie. What they all share is that the album or band is unique in some way & not every submission was reviewed. Please share these reviews or link to them if you like what you read. Reviews are no longer being posted here but feel free to e-mail Aaron & post comments. (Formerly the Roman Midnight Music Blog)

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Sapphire Rebellion ~ Sapphire Rebellion (aka debut) (EP)

(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: electronic, heavy metal, industrial, gothic, experiment
Label: Platinum Dragon Productions
Year: 2009
Home: Tennessee

Members: Tim Curry ~ vocals/guitar
Jay Godin ~ drums
Jason Palmer ~ bass

Once upon a time there was a world where odd-looking Gary Numan sang about cars. Today he poses with the same attitude but throws into his synth-based sound some gothic edginess cranking out something that's industrial yet pop & attractive while still keeping his music as mechanically cold & quasi-creepy as ever, let alone quirky. No, Sapphire Rebellion isn't Numan's new side-project, but he came to mind as a similiar sounding artist almost immediately with the oddly titled opening track "Ballrooms Of Mars." The trio of SR, now touring as a duo plus computer, eats from the same plate as Numan with a mechanically cold - note not emotionally cold - gothic pop that's synth-heavy, lyrically quircky and pop yet gothic. The difference is where Numan is aiming for unemotional, or at least emotionally distant, SR wraps you up in vignettes of delightful story-telling about strange women, lonely men & alien bars. SR has crafted a unique mix of metal but with simple sparce riffs against a simple background of stiff & basic drum rhythms & keyboards with guitar solos like something out of the New Wave/Men At Work world. But unlike Numan this isn't cock-eyed or Kraftwerk-esque unemotional alienation, nor even experiment over song. If anything it's a new level of industrial metal that aims for the industrial over the metal, actually it aims for an experience over anything. Layers of sound are built up with lots of space to hear everything clearly, think Pink Floyd, than the typical dense atomic cloud that's usually heard smashing everything in its wake. Upon a few listens SR actually actually come off as quite casual & relaxed like something relaxing on their front porch looking over their life and recalling it all in an exotic experience of delightful storytelling. & it's the storytelling that is the glue that keeps it all together. Some of the most picturesque lyrics out there as vivid as Dylan. In "Ballroom Of Mars" frontman Tim Curry, not the singing actor, monotones: "You're gonna look fine/you were primed for dancing/you're gonna drip, glide all over the trampoline blades ... Your diamond hands will be stacked with roses", or in "House Of Lies" the greatly visual: "She's a virtual warehouse of sex appeal ... She's has an arsenal of drinks & she deals them like cards/so when my glass is near empty/I often find I'm momentarily distracted by her sexy slow grind/I glide over to my darling drink dealing maiden". The lyrics are anything but cold, but incredibly personal dropping the listener right into a movie. Pick up some popcorn on the way.


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