Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Overlooked and Under Appreciated "Stream Of Consciousness" and the end of Cryptic Slaughter 1988

     It was May 29th 1988, I was 17 at the time and had one more year of High School in Santa Monica,CA. The night before I roadied for my good friends in Cryptic Slaughter, they had a show at the Balboa Theater with Dr. Know, (last show Dr Know did with Kyle Toucher after the great Wreckage In Flesh album) Insted and Resistant Militia. This was the last show for Cryptic Slaughter in LA before heading out on their summer tour, starting in June, to promote the upcoming new album “Stream Of Consciousness”. The album was recorded earlier in the year during Rob, Bill and Scott’s last year of High School. The aforementioned show also ended up being the very last L.A. Cryptic Slaughter show forever!, unbeknownst to the band and everyone else at the time! A precursor of things to come? Leading up to the May 28th show were weeks and weeks of studio time, tracking, recording and mixing. I remember Bill coming to school the day after a late night of recording his vocals and his voice being hoarse and raw. You can hear the intensity in his singing on the record, he put every ounce of angst into it and it shows. The overall recording process for “Stream Of Consciousness” was somewhat of a new experience for the band on a certain level since it was the first time the band used someone else other than Metal Blade Records in house producer Bill Metoyer for one of their full length albums. With this decision, came a more organic, live, raw sound than their previous two records. I guess it’s fair to say that the production/sound quality of "Stream" had more in common with “Convicted” & the "Life In Grave" demo than compared to the cleaner slick sound of “Money Talks”. Production aside, the songs on the other hand were a natural progression from "Money Talks", yet they still retained the same crossover Cryptic Slaughter hardcore thrash speed-core groove, but were taken to another complex level. “Stream”, I believe would have surpassed “Money Talks” if it was given a more....let’s say “powerful and clean” production that captured their intense live shows and if the band didn't break up. Any of the songs on “Stream” that were played live always stood up to anything played from “Convicted” or “Money”! Just check out the live tracks on the "Money Talks" re-issue by Relapse Records in 2003, Circus Of Fools, Just Went Black, Aggravated. Overall, the band wasn't really happy with the final outcome of the record (production wise), which is a bummer, because it’s really a great record, if you can look past some of the mistakes and the sound quality. Over the years I have really come to enjoy this record more and more. The small imperfections give it a unique quality all it's own. To me "Stream Of Consciousness" has gotten better with time, (or over the years I have become more open minded? or both) it also shows why Cryptic Slaughter are still highly respected in this genre of music. More and more new bands cite C.S. as an influence and the media continues to write about them. While I was writing this I listened to probably the only copy in existence of the test pressing for the vinyl version of “Stream” that Rob gave to me after he first listen to it. On the center label of the test pressing record, where it says “comments:” Rob wrote "IT SUCKS" and handed it over to me. “Stream Of Consciousness” wouldn’t come out until August of 1988, after the band returned home from tour and broke up! STAY TUNED FOR PART 2. The Beginning of the end. Righteous Pigs in Vegas, Shamrock! and Beer

1 comment:


This series about CS is phenomenal and right up GT's alley - extremely personal accounts and a pleasure to read about, very well done indeed. The artefacts photographed are truly priceless.