Pop writer extraordinaire, Chuck Klausterman, once wrote that ‘you can learn something profound about someone when they say nothing’. He may not have been talking about Canadian art-funksters ‘Crack Cloud’, but perhaps he should have been, because on tonight’s form there is something profound which could be learnt from watching a band who occasionally drop into 60 seconds of total silence between songs. Especially when it’s a band who are known for having a noisy post-punk sound. And a band who are made up of seven people. All of whom have electric instruments. And a microphone.
The more you watch Crack Cloud the more you learn and understand them. Principally you learn that their silence does not originate from some strange Andy Kaufman-esque attempt to make their audience uncomfortable, but rather is a by-product of a dynamic partly formed out of addictions and now focused one hundred per cent towards their music. A music, by the way, which happens to be brilliant, totally original, and insanely interesting.
Touring their new album, and on their first excursion of Europe, Crack Cloud live are everything you want from a band. Spiky, intense, self-aware and political they play with a brutal honesty, exposing personal motivations, doubts and moments of jadedness. Though centred around drummer/vocalist Zach Choy, the band operate as an active unit, with each member integral to the aesthetic, vocals and rhythmic, art punk and afro funk grooves which push forward subtle messages of personal redemption, isolation, and fear.
Deploying seriously tight and complex musicianship, Crack keep the crowd head nodding and bouncing, non-more so than on tonight’s highlight ‘More of what’ which perfectly demonstrates the bands ability to interplay four guitar parts, a danceable rhythm section, and an interesting style of story-telling. Technically, emotively and intellectually this is superb.
Whatever tonight’s profound learning is from the moments when nothing is said, let’s hope everyone was paying attention. This was one lesson you didn’t want to miss.