REVIEW: Call Me Alice – “Sweet New Disease”

By May Wiseman

Chain Border

Sweet New DiseaseThis five-piece band is portrayed as 3D characters on their web site where a universal story unfolds for their fans, as well as in live performances. Oddly clad in space suits, wigs, gothic dress of any kind and dramatic make-up this band’s intentions are to take the entire industry on while bringing to light a full sensory experience to coincide with a virtual reality experience, and apparently toting a world wide fan base along for their journey. The web site and their “story” creeps me out. Even after listening to the disc a few times, I still had this unsettling urge to figure out where these guys lost their soul – being as there isn’t much body to their effects. It’s near a comfort the disc only plays just short of thirty four minutes and includes eight tracks, three being remixes of the previous tracks. And somehow intriguing.

The music is interestingly familiar with an 80’s new wave mixed with new age rock. There’s a lot of electronic use in the music, having what seems to be a solid foundation in looping technique even on the three remixes. We Grow Stronger sticks with me the most out of the three since the chorus is repeated often, where the remix merely throws in a few more notes to mish mash with dynamics…however not disturbing the basic version’s powerful entry. Vocalist Crosby has a mellow sultry tone that appears to sing directly to the listeners, almost as if she’s handing out advice. Ballad Of The Thrawn interesting enough uses an opera vocal mixed with heavy bass lines and intense use of percussion.

Call Me AliceNow, the “Story” on the web has the newest member of the band, Aughustine, donning a red wig and make-up to create an androgynous appearance. The paragraph explains exclusively that Jude is “training” him to be one of them. The rest of the band story is the brainstorm of Epiphany and Crosby where they meet outside of the institution. Deciding to surround themselves with like people, they soon meet The Thrawn (who does not permit anyone to touch him and has fits of anger) and Jude, the group mediator continuously pushing the positive energy he exudes out to the masses for CMA fans. Together these five members create abstract vocal communication (Crosby), low frequency encryption (Epiphany), sonic simulation (Jude), melodic wire induction (Aughustine) and percussive instigation (The Thrawn).

A good question would be why go to these extremes of eccentricity to make an album, or form a band? Best guess would be; it’s great to create an air of mystery, or fiction rather, surrounding a band since the press love the hype and so do the listeners (i.e. Marilyn Manson). Hey, it works sometimes folks. Another reason would be because the band is enthralled with the virtual world and it’s a big world out there, that “www,” and to stand out in the wild you must be striped, polka dotted or plaid to bare a sense of extreme liking. Then there’s the fact that the “story” is indeed part of the character realm and well, that would just be too obvious, so I’ll go for the obvious and jot that down in my “things to wonder about” notebook. Then again – it’s all in fun right? This is just music.

Contact Information:
Post: P.O. Box 83205, San Diego, CA, 92138-3205, USA
Phone: (760) 643-0942
E-Mail: radioplay@callmealice.com
Web: www.callmealice.com

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