In a sentence:
Although there’s plenty of interesting ideas, the manically busy debut from Crack Cloud ultimately goes down as an interesting failure.
Pain Olympics is the debut album from Canadian multimedia
collective Crack Cloud, a group of people who met through various
recovery and mental health support groups and programmes in Vancouver. The aim
was to provide its members (the number of which varies but orbits around a core
of seven) with an outlet to help with their recovery, but has actually turned
out to be a lot more for the group.
Pain Olympics is busy. Very, very busy. We move from songs
that are joyful and uplifting like ‘Angel Dust’ to songs
that are claustrophobic and uncomfortable to listen to like ‘Bastard Basket’. It’s a bit
like a roller coaster with plenty of highs and lows, and there were moments
where I felt exhilarated and then there were moments that made me feel sick. ‘Somethings Gotta Give’, in
particular, and generally the intros to most of the songs, but after that it increasingly
struggles to make an impact amid the chaos and becomes more difficult to listen
Film critic Mark Kermode has consistently said (and we’re
paraphrasing here) that most reviews could basically just be boiled down to “it’s
alright if you like that sort of thing”. That’s essentially the best way to
describe Pain Olympics, and unfortunately it’s not for us. It simply has
so much going on that it is impossible not to find something, no matter how
small, that you would like in some way, but we did not connect with most of Pain
Olympics at all, and for us it goes down as an interesting failure. That
said, it’s clearly the result of a lot of effort into it and no small amount of
talent, made by people who are very proud of what they’ve done and no doubt
will go on to be very successful in whatever they choose to do next. Doubtless
it will find its fanbase, and Crack Cloud deserve credit for that alone. (5/10)
Listen to Pain Olympics by Crack Cloud here via Spotify, and tell us what you think below!
Tags: Crack Cloud, David Allsop, Meat Machine, Mohammad Sharar, Noah Varley, Pain Olympics, review, Zach Choy
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