I Am Now
Sophmore CD, I am now, is darker and more raw than the debut CD, Ambiguous. 'This Gettysburg, Pennsylvania band takes an avant garde approach of the unconscious. Songs based on dreams and the active imagination allows the band to explore various tonal textures and surrealistic landscapes. Simply a collection of luscious and luring songs.' --Sal Long, Vault Underground This is a very listenable album richly steeped in historic punk and new wave influences, almost textures, going back the whole way. There's even a touch of Joy Division in there - not surprising in something from Creston & Crew. };] What... is particularly interesting on this CD is that in some songs, these punk/new wave-rooted sound concepts are utilized, seemingly, as sound textures not at all unlike as is done in genres such as ambient and chill. The most innovative punk or new wave-based music I've heard in years. --John Furnish The band, symbol from the driveway's 'I am now' arrived in January 31, 2011 without warning or fanfare. This collection of fifteen songs point the listener inwards, this group is immediately different: austere, minimalist; ascetic, modernist titles. And then there's the music, whose beauty and power are hard to measure. Like Joy Division, Symbols From the Driveway (sftd) express raw emotions other than drugs, rebellion and partying: 'I am now', expands the palette to include sadness, unrequited love, self-hatred, despair; without apology, without embarrassment - like the entry of Greek Tragedy onto the rock stage. Then there is the melodic, dolorous bass, treated as a foundation yet leering instrument; the vocals, harsh, deep and dramatic, but with no interest in theatrics; the metronomic, melodic percussion; and textural, ambient guitar that also bites, warps, and attacks. Then there is the stellar sound, production-as-aesthetic. The sound emerges out of inky blackness, prismatic like shards of broken glass: Noise and noise effects are as important as structure. It is as Revolver, Axis: Bold as Love, Fun House, or Ziggy Stardust, in whose company it should be kept. What about the songs? A brief glimpse into three key tracks (my favourites): 'I Don't Feel' strikes harsh lines between voices and grinding chords which are alternatively violent, or flying through systemic detuning at the end of the song. 'Shallow' follows some kind of disengaged loss of faith, charging through neon-lit darkness on the back of Baker's guitar and a powerful percussive beat which reminds me of Peter Gabriel's earlier work. The song is a two-folded question that appears to strike an open view about who is really 'Shallow' - those who believe in an afterlife or those who do not. This song will make your heart beat faster. 'Abducting Youth' starts up with bits of backward guitar-detritus, turning left into a requiem sung as a parable about the singer's own life. It is utterly resigned and moving, and that would be enough; but towards it's end it shifts down a gear and climaxes like despair finally expiated. This one will have your hair standing up. 'I am now' is new-minted like the olden days of punk, new wave mixed with an ethereal-like feel of freshness. The album, collectively speaking, pre-supposes dreams, the unconscious and preconscious stages, like nothing else I have heard in a long time. This record does everything a rock record has to do to be enticing, and then goes way further: into darkness; into creation. --M.G.