By Jamie McNamara
Anchoring Point, the new EP from Calgary post-punk collective Crack Cloud, is the latest release in a long line of ferocious Calgarian post-punk that combines artistic tendencies with dystopic, dreary atmospheres. Yet where other Calgarian bands like Preoccupations use monotony to drive their point home, Crack Cloud indulge in rhythmic art punk and afro punk not too far removed from the Talking Heads. The five-track EP effectively captures a band that has earned considerable buzz with their first EP and frenetic live performances, but it also solidifies Crack Cloud’s reputation as one of the brightest talents in Calgary’s flourishing music scene.
It’s clear when listening to the bouncing, dub-indebted bass lines and skronking guitars peppered throughout Anchoring Point that Crack Cloud subscribe to the Gang of Four, neo-Marxist school of post-punk. On “Empty Cell” and the standout track “Image Craft,” the band uses pop-leaning afro-punk polyrhythms to push a political agenda that antagonizes Albertan power structures from a philosophical standpoint that is all too rare in local music these days. Drummer/vocalist Zach Choy anchors the band with his acidic yelps and brainy, self-aware lyrics that avoid pretension while still flashing some much-needed fang.
Final track “Swish Swash,” may be the most impressive song in Crack Cloud’s catalog, using droning atmospheres and a relentless motorik beat to push the band in a new direction. It’s not a new beginning, but it feels like a new look for a band with a long career ahead of them.Anchoring Point, Crack Cloud, Independent