The Finnish solo-project Concrete Isolation Box (henceforth referred to as CxIxB) got born in early 2010. It has released two CD-R's and two tapes since, this EP being the latest offering of frustration and wrath. "Truth of the Streets" can be obtained from CxIxB's homepage as a tape and as a free mp3-download. Out of the two options I'd recommend getting the tape, as it has deeper sharper, harsher and all-around a lot better sound quality. They aren't even comparable, really. The simple layout doesn't hurt the eyes either, although the tape's sides should've been marked.
"Nasty" was the first adjective I could come up with to describe CxIxB's music. The opening five-minuter sums it up really well; bursts of screeching harsh noise clash with lower analog-frequencies. The soundscape has a lot of depth, variation and detail, and doesn't let go of its overall hostility. "Fuck the Middle Class" follows up similarly, but with even heavier jumps from high screeches to bursts of distortion - even as far as almost making the opener seem like an intro. The spoken/shouted vocals have a coat of distortion to better fit in, but are still clear enough to deliver their message.
"Street Vermin" adds a nice twist to create contrast with the A-side's rather traditional filth; the white noise and screeching is backed with slow and dramatic guitar notes. The noise-clutter and the improvised(?) guitar operate separately from each other, which makes the guitar seem like a less ingenious add, but it doesn't shake off the song's interesting dark atmosphere. Similar to the A-side, B2 follows "Street Vermin" without a pause. It spats out heavier and denser harsh noise, which is backed by distorted shouts and (more interestingly) a dark and melancholic saxophone-sample with a strong Latino vibe. This is the song that gave me the best initial impression of the four, and I still see it as a stylish piece with a surprisingly dark and perverse atmosphere.
The songs fly by fast, leaving me waiting to hear more. "Truth of the Streets" doesn't break into new and innovative territories, but handles its craft demonstrating strength, a clear vision, and a good sense of style. The artist could take the songs even further when it comes to overwhelming mass or "heaviness," and boldly employ stronger contrasts. The songs could've benefited from a more massive low end, or either a fuller high end to really create a storm of sound. He could let himself go with the vocals as well, as now they aren't used to their full potential. They need more energy and emotion.
I really liked how the tape is split into two style-wise as well, and the B-side revealing that the artist has an eye for some experimentation as well. I hope we'll be hearing more of CxIxB in the future. He can uphold the aggression, frustration and atmosphere for a 15-minute release, and I'm curious to see if he can do the same on a longer record as well.
This is a highly promising demo-tape.