Crippled Black Phoenix have always been a band that have done cover songs. They are really good at them too. I suppose it was only a matter of time before they did an all cover album or EP. “Horrific Honorifics” is a six song EP that, based on the band’s track record, should be an easy win. But something is off.
I noticed it on their last full length album “Bronze.” CBP are getting dreary. While they have always been great at atmosphere, it seems like they are slowing everything down and getting sucked into a hole. Almost all of the covers on this EP are just short of being death marches. “The Faith Healer” cover that finishes the EP has some life even if the vocal from guest vocalist James Ray is rough.
“Will-o-the-Wisp” is the one song I found too bland to deal with. Vocalist Belinda Kordic sounds like a mix of an 8 year old and a cartoon character. It’s annoying as fuck and when pitted against the durge of CBP’s musical climate, it really sounds off. All is not lost though. Two covers are excellent. The God Machine gets some much needed love with a cover of “In Bad Dreams” and Swans’ “The Golden Boy Swallowed the Sea” is the high water mark of the EP.
So it seems like CBP has drifted from the balanced sound that they used to have on albums like “(Mankind) The Crafty Ape” and “No Sadness or Farewell.” Maybe this is the desired doom and gloom? I am a little surprised at the one dimensional approach of “Horrific Honorifics” since they could have chosen any song by any artist. Still, it’s worth having if you are a Crippled Black Phoenix fan. I just would prefer new music.
1. False Spring (Arboretum)
2. The Golden Boy Swallowed By The Sea (Swans)
3. Will-O-The-Wisp (Magnolia Electric Co.)
4. Victory (No Means No)
5. In Bad Dreams (The God Machine)
6. The Faith Healer (The Sensational Alex Harvey Band)
Label: Season of Mist