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Carpenter Brut - EP III (2015) - Review

Band: Carpenter Brut
Album title: EP III
Release date: 19 January 2015
Label: Self-released

01. Division Ruine
02. Paradise Warfare
03. Run, Sally, Run!
04. Turbo Killer
05. Anarchy Road
06. Invasion A.D.

It is time for some heavy reddish synthwaves!

Nostalgia is a powerful weapon and there is no wonder, so many still crave for the music, fashion and pop culture of the 80s. It was a fabulous era, even for those of us who were born in the 80s and came across the whole culture after it was long gone. "Business in the front – party in the back" haircuts, cocaine, gothic rock, science fiction, cyberpunk, synthpop, pink lipsticks and blue eye shadows: hedonism everywhere. Now, in the second decade of the third millennia as we count our years, a brand new electronic musical genre, the so called synthwave or retrowave, has peaked on the surface, with a heavy use of synthesizer driven sound of the 80s pop and synthpop music, with a futuristic, science fiction-ish, horror-ish subliminal tone. You name it, you got it (probably). Yes, I am a sucker for this kind of thingies and I managed to find some incredibly tasteful and original modern day artists who devoted themselves to musical time travel three decades in the past. But my #1 remains Carpenter Brut.

A mysterious man, who is all about quality, not quantity. His first EP, named conveniently EP I was released in 2012, containing 6 murky, horror-inspired, ghastly tracks that could easily fit into a psycho thriller or supernatural-themed horror film, with stunningly bad special effects (you know, the ones from the 80s! And don’t think I'm being snobby here, because I am a colossal fan of old school bad-effect filled horrors.) A year later, his second musical work piece, EP II lurked from the shadows, delivering another 6 tracks, which this time moved into a bit more energizing and trendy colours, but still relied heavily on the obscure, horror-esque atmosphere of the first creation. His latest effort, EP III is another synthwave masterpiece, which gets all my deepest admiration and praise. Please, allow me to take you through the imagery my imagination came up with.

The opening "Division Ruine" is a smashing, majestic anthem, relying on steady beats and smooth synthesizer driven melodies, which in one moment explode right in your face with full speed on. If this won't raise your energy levels, I don't know what will. This song could easily be used in a movie scene, where Kurt Russel would take out 27 bad guys, holding a machine gun in one hand, beer in the other, with a cigarette in his mouth and it would probably take him 3 seconds. I'm talking action, power, energy, raw energy. To neutralize that larger than life effect, "Paradise Warfare" continues in a calmer manner and with an addition of jazzy saxophone creates a soothing, romantic atmosphere. "Anarchy Road" was probably the biggest surprise for us, Brut fans, as it is the first of his tracks ever to feature vocals (by Jim), and I have to admit, at first I wasn't quite sure whether I like this twist or not. It turned out after just a couple of spins it was more than warmly welcome addition, as the vocals go so smoothly alongside the otherwise upbeat, but still quite darkly atmosphere driven by the melody.

As, apart from the aforementioned "Anarchy Road" there is no lyrical concept behind the music, I became to wonder, if there are some themes that tend to develop in Carpenter Brut's music: psyhco killers and women. I couldn't help but noticing the similarity in song titles: as on EP II "SexKiller On The Loose" was to be feared of, now we have "Turbo Killer" chasing us around. On EP II we went "Looking For Tracy Tzu", now here's Sally in "Run, Sally, Run!". Altogether with the last track on the album, Invasion A.D., this holy trinity of songs depicts again the horror-filled, tenebrous atmosphere through perfectly developing music soundscapes of EP III, which is what makes Brut's music so appealing.

I am a fan and I am again stunned, but that's just how it is. I just came across EP II accidentally by browsing through Bandcamp last year and after exploring the wondrous world of Brut, I consider him to be one of the best musical discoveries I have made in the past five years, not to over exaggerate. If you find retro synth sound, with splendid use of electronic effects, inspired by film score music with such dense and intense atmospheres, that is just oozing darkness, fear and suspense, could be your thing - check out EP III. Make sure to put it on maximum volume. Satisfaction guaranteed!

Review written by: Ines
Rating: 10/10