Chilled Alaskan DJ returns to the front line with the release of his four-track EP, aptly titled Battlelines .
Is there still time to send a subtle message? Many may argue no longer, and CADJ doesn’t waste any time drawing his line in the sand on the explosive opening funk horror ‘Freakshow’. Ominous Prodigyesque overtones open this number, and when the drop comes it rolls into a chunky groove that draws from Terranova and sets the scene for a woven tapestry of sound punctuated by a punk sentiment. The beauty here comes from the dreamy Middle Eastern lead that draws the song together. Hints of John Carpenter emerge in a scary breakdown and the juxtaposition of melodic verses and pounding break beat choruses will have a lot of bums wagging. It’s quite clear CADJ is paying very close attention to each and every moment on this track and it’s quite inspiring to hear just how everything is welded together.
There’s a reason why ‘Midnight’ is called what it is, because this epic industrial-inspired beat is the kind of sonic outburst you’d expect a lot of fired-up fiends to be jumping up and down to on a dance floor at roughly that time of the night. Synth-wave melodies open what becomes a squelching and belching beast. Wake Up! Screeches an angry voice. Yes thanks, I’ll have some of that! There’s a moment that takes me straight to Fat of The Land and it feels mighty fine! Synth washes and tribal percussion creep up on you, as does a wandering keyboard lead. Just when you think you’re over the best of it, a breakdown kicks you in the guts and it’s on to the real crunch! Wheels burn off into the distance like thieves in the night.
‘Mirror Murder Mother‘ is a hook that is already seared into my brain and this is the moment on the album where things get real and hints of “How long? Too long” resonate. CADJ lays a hip-hop groove down with Armenian guitar grooves that echo those other great dissidents, SOAD. Carefully crafted breakdowns make space for the message to be heard loud and clear, with this track as much a chant as it is a tune. Sirens and gunshots pulsate along with toms and operatic discourse as CADJ acknowledges #BLM and the oppression experienced by many the hands of authorities all over the world. Raised Fists.
Rounding things of with ‘The End of the Universe‘, CADJ finds himself in Saturday afternoon groove territory, reminding us all that somewhere out there is a beautiful meadow with quadraphonic sound and just enough beautiful people so have a good time. This song feels like a long, perfect wave glistening in in the light of dusk. The drums on this track have an infectious rhythm that you just don’t want to let go of. While it may all seem like washes and roses, keep your ears pealed for some industrial and guitar elements in here that expose CADJ’s punk rock roots. Expect happy faces here.
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