The Cassandra Complex - _Wetware_
(Metropolis Records, 2000)
by: Aaron McKay (5 out of 10)
I get a 1970s sci-fi television adventure series "Buck Rogers" vibe from _Wetware_, the newest oar-in-the-water by England's The Cassandra Complex. Electro dance-ish material layered on a Peter Murphy-esque vocal hum-drum supplied by Rodney Orpheus, the band's founder. While I hold disdain for the term "sci-fi" in any of its forms or usages, it does, however, serve my purpose well in communicating the climate and aura packaged by TCC. The science-fiction aspect isn't necessarily so much in the lyrics as in the mood of _Wetware_. For example, track one, "VALIS" (which, I gather from the song, means "vast and living intelligent system"), surfaces images of robots and androids, but the real sci-fi feel is raised from placid waterways long forgotten in the mind by the -music- on "VALIS" in particular. An echo of Orpheus's voice sounding very computer generated is almost a dead ringer for Dr. Theopolis, the artificial intelligence lugged around by the robot Twiki on "Buck Rogers". The material on _Wetware_ runs the gambit from the aforementioned musical workings to rather forgettable songs like the repetitive "When I Fall in Love" and "My Possession", setting me up to think of a "Star Wars" scene with Jabba the Hut, Princess Lea and Seal's "Crazy" piped in on the slave barge. The most arresting track I found on _Wetware_ is "Dion Fortune". Nicely worked with a beat to get your blood flowing with a swift current. If more efforts on _Wetware_'s nearly seventy-four minutes resembled anything like "Dion Fortune", I'm sure its score would have been higher. I cannot compare this release to any other of TCC's vast resume of albums because this is my first dip into their pool of material. So far the water is a bit too shallow for me, at least comparatively speaking in relationship to Metropolis's armada of other talented groups.


(article published 20/11/2000)

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