Saturday, April 25, 2015

The Kraken

At soundcheck. All dressed in black. From the band to the crew to the tech team. Hahaha.
Photo credit to Aloysius Lim and one stage group shot to Leonard Soosay.

Only the acoustics of Esplanade's Recital Studio could do justice to the soundscapes of 'The Kraken', the even-more-awesome second album from In Each Hand A Cutlass. Produced, mixed and engineered by Brad Wood, I'm thrilled that it was mastered by The Lodge's Emily Lazar and assisted by Chris Allgood. OMG. EMILY LAZAR. She's got an amazing touch. Pipe 'The Kraken' through 5.1 (or 6.1) with a warm set of tube amps. It will rock your walls.

An album launch is also about the gathering of friends, in celebration of passions, music and forged links. Brown-Paw Bear made an appearance, proudly inspecting everyone's gear and helped out at the merchandise table. The show was sold out a week before. The band was overwhelmed. Many friends were a bit mortified that they couldn't go. They were like, "OMG I haven't got my tickets yet, how now?!" Ermm, why y'all never buy tickets earlier???! Ees cute tees and grab the album online lor. We can have a drink any time lah. You know where we lurk. MUAKS. One very lucky girl without a ticket came down anyway to support the band and buy cute tees and the album. What a sweetie. While hanging out, suddenly a ticket became available at 9.20pm and she bought it straight, and zipped into the Recital Studio. WOOHOOO.

Photo credit to Noelle Seet

The show also starred Shan on cello and Josh Wei on violin. They also lent their instruments to the tracks on the album. The strings added new layers and dimension to the guitars and its effects. Much effort put into this one night, for a 75-minute show. What a wall of sound that whooshed over the audience. It was as soft and subtle as it was loud, booming, angsty and pointed. The music painted pictures and the canvas is for you to choose what you want to imagine. Many different rhythms and influences mixed into this genre they call 'progressive rock'. Instrumental.

I have it on very good authority that the band was very touched by all the love and support last night. They had an emo moment backstage. The album was two-years-in-the-making. Those twice-a-week-four-hour-each jam sessions for the year were totally worth it. They poured their heart and soul into making this album.
Awesome shot captured by Aloysius Lim.

Each time you make a record, you don't know if there'll be another. You don't know if you can write the music and tell a story. You don't know if the band will stay together, keep the chemistry, share a vision and make music for the soul. You can only try and hope.

So when a band is ready to write songs, they look at the big picture and give it their all. Then cross fingers and hope critics and the other humans will like it. That was what In Each Hand A Cutlass did. This will be how many other bands do it. Often, the writing part is easy. It's the recording and getting their act together that's dicey. Then there's the matter of marketing in this digital age of music. I dunno if the indie bands find it tougher, or there isn't much of a difference through the years, except for the provision of slightly more choices and better venues in Singapore.

Congratulations lads and lass! Loads of great publicity and awesome reviews. I definitely love it, and that's not because I know you. Importantly, the content of what you put out worked beautifully. THAT MUSIC. So gooood to hear the album for myself. As well produced and mastered the songs are, nothing beats hearing and seeing you play live. It was a fantastic show, and an album to last the years!

'The Kraken' ♥ Album cover by Andy Yang ♥ Album design by Errol Tan


tuti said...

very good composition and arrangement. i caught excerpts of it.
can jump so high some more, the two of them.
congrats to the band. very significant achievement.

imp said...

enjoy listening to them. :)))

D said...

Comment for the previous post: this is the 2nd time I read what you wrote about Janice Wong desserts within a short period of time. I saw it when I was last in Sg but wasn't sure if it was good. I'd have to try it the next time i'm back now!

imp said...

D: definitely worth a try. be warned that her brand of mochi is different. The skin is beautiful, but the insides are odd- more cream than puree... Eclairs, I'm not sure. The choux pastry's good, but again the filling can be divisive.