CD Reviews 31 Dec 2009


(2009   Self-Release)

The past few years have seen what has started out as Marc Claggett’s one-man project of a sampler and a guitar morph into one of the more unpredictable electronic duos in the Madison scene.  Claggett, currently also a member of The Projection People, has evolved slightly from Cemetery Improvement Society’s previous material; there is still a great deal of droning and fidgeting on Lonely Dog Island (with “drone and fidget” being a genre he coined for his art based on an early review of his music by The Onion) but there are some near epic length tracks showcasing massive guitar talent that at times sounds complex enough that one has to wonder if it was improvised.

Aaron Miller of Dissent And Revolt, one of several guest musicians, lends “Pocket Full of Bugs” his growls, and the result is comparable to Henry Rollins screaming over minimalist bass and breakbeats.  CIS have never been quite as dark and creepy and poltergeisty as the name of the band might suggest; bits of many genres of electronica and the occasional seven string guitar are scattered throughout the CD, but the tempo changes far too often to easily pigeonhole what’s here into any neat subcategory.  They even dip their toes into the realm of parody with “Drunk Up The Jams”, further flushing away much of the somberness from whatever particular cemetery they are attempting to improve.

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About the author

Sean Bunny

Sean has played drums for Outhouse, Pubic Stubble, B.O.R.D., Exploding White Mice, and Urn. He was a producer and engineer for WORT's Access Hour for several years and currently DJs once a month for the Inferno's Punk Rock Wednesdays. He has been a contributor to Rick's Cafe, Dane101, and Local Sounds Magazine.

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