Originally released in 1987 on a limited cassette run, Daniel Crommie's Raised By Piranha is another odd yet intriguing entry is his New Weave Archive Series, and now available once again through most online digital outlets. Joining Crommie (vocals, synths, flute, drum programming, electric clarinet, sampler) on this outing is Tom Dougherty (synths, sampler, voice synth), Jamie Haggerty (additional synth), and Kristi Mergenthaler (vocal). Like many of the early Crommie releases, there's a wild mix of styles here, from new wave, electro-synth pop, avant-garde, and a smattering of prog.
Seeing as it was 1987 when this was put together, expect it to be mostly synth dominated with plenty of danceable programmed drum beats. Vocals are generally drenched with effects, like on the eerie "Can I Play With Your Animals?", but do not overpower the arrangements. There's a certain Thomas Dolby/Talking Heads vibe to "Model Cities" and "Reptile Farm", and for '80s synth pop & new wave fans there will be a lot to like here, but if you prefer some of Crommie's more pastoral, folky fare, this is pretty far from that. "Hilbert Space" has a certain '80s King Crimson feel, minus the guitars of course, and both "Mystery Beat" and the title track are bouncy numbers with a wild assortment of synthesizer sounds and textures. Easily the best tune here though is the ominous, spacey "Prehistory (the beast within)", a nightmarish piece with all sorts of spooky noises and textures, and "Ranch-Style Sushi" also dials up the futuristic element thanks to bubbling synths and eerie vocoder effects.
Raised By Piranha is certainly not going to be for everyone, and is pretty dated sounding by today's standards, but if you have a soft spot for '80s new wave and electro/synth pop, you'll be able to have a lot of fun with this one.
1) Model Cities
2) Can I Play With Your Animal?
3) Reptile Farm
4) Hilbert Space
5) Isolated One
6) Roadmap and Aerial Photographs
7) Mystery Beat
8) Raised By Piranha
9) Prehistory (the beast within)
10) Ranch-Style Sushi
11) Hilbert Space (alternate version)