'Voodoo Doll'

(Vision records, LLC)

MARK: 88/100



More and more are trying to combine Electronica and traditional Rock instruments, often with the intent of exploring new territories. The danger and the challenge at the same time are to maintain an easy listening and a catchiness for every track in order to gift each of them with a special personality. In this case the bet has been won by this one-man project self-catapulted onto the scene all of a sudden and are most likely destined to stay in that for a long while.

The claustrophobic beats, cries, voices and rapidly growing noises of the title track make us understand it won't be a pleasant journey with a happy end, even if the light out of the tunnel appears every now and then. And this is confirmed by tracks such as "Blackout", Industrial Rock full of DJ effetcts on the trail of the most abrasive NIN, strengthened by Ministry's riffs and a Clutch/H-Blockxian marked Rock groove in the refrain bringing brightness to this nightly experience.
"Misled" plays alternating Tommy Lee and Muse, adding hypnotical vocals together with other whispered tenebrous ones. Thrills are gonna run up and down your spine like the first time you had your first sexual experience, devirginizing new areas of your brain cortex.
A song like "Reflection" reminds the rainiest Anathema and Pink Floyd, mixing them with electronic beats and lots of wha-wha, but there are also episodes with hardly any Rock elements: "Scapegoat" for example, a romantic, deviated, almost completely Chill-out/Lounge music song with only few sampled guitars making tempo circles in the finale.
A bit a là Radiohead, "KIll You off", later blows up in slow Emocore/Nu Metal paroxystical bursts.
The force of James Garrett's songwriting resides in the ineffability of the refrains and in the smooth pain-free fusion of cinemascopic tempo changes; actually this music is suitable for several movies, but I would see it particularly well in a flick like Darren Aronofsky's "Pi", especially if you take as a reference a song like the magic and mesmerizing "Fire"; take Burzum's guitars (yeah, Count Grishnack!), others mutuated by Godflesh, EBM beatings dear to Wumpscut and similar ones, melodic, looped, effected or menacious vocals with multiple assorted noises and a symphonic part chosen to conclude the composition and you'll not be far from guessing what's expecting you here.
As I said, many are the influences but the band remains one sui generis: hard for a great deal of reviewers is the task of describing the following "My Dream": in my opinion an orgy between Atari Teenage Riot, Clawfinger, Ministry again, New Wave and Alec Empire as for the vocals.
Melancholy and bucolic, "The Ruins of Interest" ranges from Pink Floyd to Linkin' Park with a violin and Pop/AOR vocals astride Howard Jones, Billy Idol and Dakota with low-fi Metal strokes of the guitar. Abso-fucking-lutely immense!
World charts can be achieved thru "Until That Day", but altho I like it, I must admit this song is a bit inferior in comparison with the rest of the material; too simple beats, too short and less artistic than the others, but believe me, I am splitting hairs.
A tremendous impact comes back with the closer, "All That Was", an apparent crossbreed between the atmospheres and the pumping of Deftones and the perversity of Marylin Manson remixed by a Disc Jockey high on acid who put on a platter by Sigue Sigue Sputnik and one by Police on another turntable. Unfortunately there are no lyrics but the downloadable video corresponding to this song is a plain exposé of how easily huge strata of population were, are and always will be easily manipulated after a leader's promises. I don't understand why some people think Mr. Garrett states his views here: you can see Hitler, but you can also see Charles Manson and the nth intolerant iman indoctrinating millions of muslims, so it's just a warning for those few who can still read between the lines spurring not to follow any leader but use that grey matter that was given to us not only for self-survival or fun. Whoever your heads of state, community, church, sect, and so forth are, you're being lied most of the time or something is hidden to meet the agenda.

In conclusion, the album is valid and it has to be cataloged as one of those to discover and enjoy from second by second. The homage to art delivered by the 11 tracks makes our asses feel a tad sorry for promoting this self-financed debut-CD with some delay. The target of this record, admitted and not taken for granted it exists, is quite wide but can be summed up like this: an album for open-minded individuals who love diverse sources of Modern music with a soul and not only a background while doing something else. If he should ever listen to it, David Icke would naturally become an adept to Only Now Existing too.

MARKUS GANZHERRLICH - 2nd December, 2006

Current line-up:
James Garrett, all vocals, instruments, lyrics

E-mail: 1vision@optonline.net
Official URL: www.onlynowexisting.com

-Voodoo Doll (CD, 2006)