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Cocaine Culture — A New Shade of Black

Cocaine Culture
A New Shade of Black
by Shea Higgerson at 15 March 2022, 3:35 PM

Out of Indiana, COCAINE CULTURE delivers a dark, extreme noise EP with “A New Shade of Black.” The production of this album needs a lot of work. It definitely feels homemade, but everyone has to start somewhere. The vocals sound so drowned out by the music most of the time. It’s like listening to a speaker buried under the dirt. You know that joke they make about flavored sparkling water drinks (i.e. La Croix)? It tastes like drinking water and then someone screams out the name of a fruit. The concept of \[insert fruit flavor here]. That’s what this is like, but with the vocals. The vocalist sounds like he’s being strangled, but still trying his damndest to scream.

I remember one time I was at a metal show at a small venue and it was loud up front by the band that you could see the vocalist screaming his heart out with a red, sweaty face, but couldn’t hear a thing. I had to move to the back of the room to hear him at all. That’s kind of what listening to this was like. The music here is a lot like listening to doom metal, but with noisey, extreme vocals similar to that of THE NUMBER TWELVE LOOKS LIKE YOU, but not as good. I think with better mixing and mastering there may actually be something to the music. There are some good riffs and drum parts in the EP.

It’s hard for me to say if anything about the vocals would be better. Just because you can make loud scary noises with your voice doesn’t necessarily make you a metal vocalist, and it’s really hard to tell here if the production is just so muddy it sounds bad or if it’s actually bad. The deeper screams do seem to sound better than the highs. I think the only time I could actually tell what the lyrics are during any of this was during the title track when the vocalist screams “This is a new shade of black.” This all just goes to show how important it is to throw money at good quality mixing and mastering for music releases even if it takes more time to put the music out into the world.

Songwriting: 3
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 2
Production: 2

1 Star Rating

Tracklist:
1. Guide the Razor
2. Am I Alone
3. Resin Breath
4. A New Shade of Black
5. True Religion
Lineup:
Cody - Vocals
Zach - Guitar
Justin - Bass
Sean - Drums
Record Label: Independent
     


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