‘The Plague’ LP is not only the new album from The Cassandra Complex, but it’s also their first since their last work, ‘Wetware’, (2000) – and it’s being released just in time for the 40th anniversary of this monumental band. The album was released May 6, 2022, on their own label, Complex Music, and it hides inside 10 brand new and trademark songs that are similar to their past musings that put them at the tops of the genre they serve…..or better, the genre they pioneer since 1982.
The Cassandra Complex was founded in the mid-80s in Leeds, England by Rodney Orpheus, Andy Booth, and Paul Dillon. Their first independently released records became successful in Europe, topping the indie charts in various countries, leading the band to eventually sign to PIAS Records and relocate to Hamburg, Germany where they added current members Volker Zacharias and Axel Ermes. After several years of doing other things, The Cassandra Complex reformed to play some well-received European festival shows and began working on what would become their new album ‘The Plague’, recorded and mixed during the Covid -19 lockdown. Their albums ‘Grenade’ (1986) and ‘Theomania’ (1988) became classics as did songs like ‘Moscow Idaho’, ‘Kill Your Children’ or ‘(In Search Of) Penny Century’.
A very important name to all the fans in the wider dark alternative front, TCC is sounding as if not a day of absence has passed in these 20 years..and now they are knocking again on our door with an album of special dynamics and importance. The first single to appear from the album was ‘The Crown Lies Heavy on the King’ last year, which documented (in October 2020) the possible re-election of Donald Trump, which was still threatening at the time.
The whole album is on the paths of the old post-punk with modern sound and production – and I’m not saying this indicatively to the young bands, but when you started pioneering in 1982 and your journey was formed by such wild colors, this is what you’ll continue to do – and you do it perfectly. Everybody in the house of TCC is playing with “machines” (synths and keys), two of them handle the guitars and bass to give the required stormy thrust to their music (Andy Booth, and Volker Zacharias), while Axel Ermes on synthesizers-only is doing his own things with unbridled zeal for the purposes of ‘The Plague’. And at the front, we meet Rodney Orpheus who handles the vocals (of course), vocoder, synthesizers, and the drum machines, like the leader and the keeper of the tribe; that tribe that plays post-punk with many hints of gothic rock and the industrialism (carefully and prudently). As for their melodies, they come up like the dusty scent of the youth in the basement clubs and the dedicated scenes of the world, catchy, romantic, and angry at times with authenticity that doesn’t require attention but is there to overturn their own classic and trademark style; The Cassandra Complex are moving on. Usually, I give these 2-3 focus tracks that pushed me out of my chair, but today Nooooo…I will leave you alone to stumble on the steps of this amazing record and need no care, a beer in hand and the gig starts right now, turn it loud (please)!!!
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Written by Loud Cities' Mike