Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the record store, Steve Krakow’s Plastic Crimewave Syndicate is back to assault your ears with some of the headiest, skronkiest sounds this side of the sun (ra).
Released on Cardinal Fuzz in very limited quantities (only 300!!) Massacre of The Celestials find the band at perhaps their loudest and most free. Every track is a cataclysmic attack to the senses, with interstellar improvised guitar and sax leads chasing each other for ultimate supremacy.
Actually, this volcanic in-the-red sax and guitar interplay gives the record a sort of Fun House-era Stooges-meets-Funkadelic like vibe. Although at certain points, like “Lot Lizard Genocide,” when the band revs up the slashing damaged guitars and motorcycle growl-like vocals, the tracks start to resemble Mudhoney crashing a Hawkwind gig with Edgar Broughton.
Elsewhere on the album, such as the excellent “Nest of Vipers,” the guitar sounds as though it is being pushed to its absolute limit. It’s fed through so many effects and filters, and the poor thing howls with enough feedback, it’s a surprise that it doesn’t just immediately incinerate in Krakow’s hands.
Additionally, the album’s intended concept works surprisingly well with the music. PCS’s freaky cosmic tale of apocalypse, rebirth and post-apocalyptic dystopian life translates perfectly well through the walls of thermonuclear sax and guitar supernovas, along with Krakow’s blitzed-out shamanic vocals. Yet unlike other conceptual records, you don’t necessarily need to follow the story to enjoy the tunes. The tracks here are so dynamic and rock so hard, you could still feel completely in awe of this album—even if you don’t understand a single word of English. Just crank it up and let the fuzz do the talkin’.
Deeply atmospheric with a murky acid nightmare-like production which coats everything with a shadowy fuzz, like some sort of nefarious slime mold, this total swamp of saturated psychedelic sounds will surely give the cosmos a run for its money.