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Cunning Mantrap: HAZMAT

After an EP, Dull Days, in 2014, Germany's Cunning Mantrap return with the full length HAZMAT. Packing a whole host of garagey, grungey, noisisms into their twelve tracks, the mood is still one that seems to refer back to the EP title… dull. There's no denying these are (delete as applicable) interesting/worrying/history making times and that the world does, depending on your view, seem to be headed in a scary direction, and yet the angry despair set out here somehow fails to connect. Initially the wall of sludgy but at times still energetic guitars gives the hint that if you work with them and give them time, they'll eventually fall into place and prove engaging. However as the wail and gnash of "Orange", "The Future II" and "The Curse Of The Leaden Tongue" all become familiar, it's another track, "Weary", which describes the response they conjure.

The idea would appear to be rebellious and crowd mustering and yet most of what HAZMAT reveals is decidedly from the individual and for the individual. The vocals from Phry McDunstan also a struggle, his passion over precision ethos leaving you thoroughly on the outside looking in as he tells his stories. Unfortunately, the more you try to engage his world, the more you feel like an intruder in a process you simply can't relate to.

To be fair, I've never been one to hugely engage with music where anguish seems to be the key ingredient (Cunning Mantrap may disagree with that assessment, but it's certainly what I experience through their output). So if that's the sort of angst ridden fare that has you gripped and asking for more, then it's entirely likely you'll disagree. However for me HAZMAT is an album that refuses to excite the emotions, or stimulate the mind.


Track Listing
1. RED
2. COMPANY
3. PLAY THE PROPHET
4. UNCANNY VALLEY
5. A LIGHT THAT SHOULD HAVE SHINED
6. DETOX
7. WEARY
8. THE PAST
9. THE FUTURE II
10. ORANGE
11. STRAIGHT OUTTA HAND
12. THE CURSE OF THE LEADEN TONGUE

Added: February 20th 2017
Reviewer: Steven Reid
Score:
Related Link: Cunning Mantrap online
Hits: 374
Language: english

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