FoA's CD is now manufactured exclusively by Disc Makers. Fields of Aplomb's Fifth CD. Theoretical Suicide is a conceptual CD that looks at the monstrosities that we blindly accept as human beings, especially in the United States of Amnesia. Musicians: Carolyn Baxter - keys, strings, bass, programming Creston Baker - guitars, vox, keys, bass, programming Anna Leska - percussion, programming, keys Greg Freund - samplings, programming Joy Yana - vox on 'Restraints' Mastered by Todd Stotler at Echoes Recording Studio - www.echoesrecordingstudio.com Cover Artwork - (C) 2006 Artist Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn Review from TAXI by Cheyenne Goths can't rock, so the misconception goes - their musical abilities extend only as far as writing fey songs about damaged girls named Rane and Ann, with spidery, moaning guitars, cackling laughter and lots of cheeky echo effects. Well, Theoretical Suicide has songs dedicated to both Rane and Ann, plenty of echo, and Creston Baker even indulges in a cackle halfway through track two. And whenever the FoA tour (which is increasingly rare these days), a gaggle of dodgy darklings always creep from their hiding places and graveyards to swoon to their concerts. You'd think, based on this, that this was yet another awful album from a subgenre best left to fade away in the distant mists of time. Well, you'd be wrong. That awful album you're thinking of is probably something by Bauhaus. Theoretical Suicide, on the other hand, is a very good album. By this point, Carolyn Baxter, Anna Leska and Creston are the only members of Fields of Aplomb, with the help of computer/sound guru Greg Freund and vocalist Joy Yana pitching in on 'Restraints' making of a earth-shaking collaboration. The popular misconception goes on to posit that so-called 'goth rock' is tortuously slow, dour, humourless stuff. And very few songs on Theoretical Suicide run for less than five minutes. Calling them slow, however, is somewhat incarnate, for practically half the entire album booms with Anna's thunderous grooves, which invite even the most sedentary posteriors to get up and thrash. Furthermore, Baker proves himself to be no slouch at guitar playing. The guitars are immensely helped by the excellent production - far from sounding fey and spidery, they sound vibrant, exotic, sensuous, oddly spiritual (a quality only enhanced by the use of the choral samples on 'Imperialism'). And then, there's Baker's voice, itself one of the great visceral thrills of rock music. Maybe we didn't need all thirteen minutes of 'Into Submission.' But it has an infectious bout to it, and Baker roars so wonderfully, that the length stops being an issue. And indeed, there's something weirdly exultant about the outro to the former... and the gradual buildup of the latter. Among this, 'Restraints' is a song which would have been sunk under it's own weight had anyone else tried to sing it, but which comes off as a dignified, stately bit of chamber music thanks to Yana's soulful vocal. It's self-titled song, 'Theoretical Suicide' that steals the show, though - using the sweeping guitar line, it builds up to great crescendos and becomes, well, as good a rock anthem as the best of them. If those dodgy darklings ever air guitar, they do it to this song. And who can blame them? I certainly can't imagine anyone who wouldn't pump their fist in the air to it. 'Seven' comes in on track five; it's a lot more methodical than most of what preceded it, but it's actually one of the album's best offerings. The chilly guitar line and Baker's low rumble make it one of the most evocative and hellish songs I've ever heard - one need only hear 'This is no place for god' to see them quite clearly. Before this is the foreboding, dreamlike and almost as good 'Isolation.' This album will probably be largely ignored, and rather unfairly at that, due to that 'goth' label. If the label means screaming, posturing, cheap melodrama, dime-store angst, and loutish aggression, as it has come to mean thanks to the tireless efforts of second-rate hacks from all over the world, then it does not apply to the Fields of Aplomb at all. Theoretical Suicide is good music, plain and simple. Overall it's rather an impressive achievement. What else needs be said?
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