The Cancer Conspiracy – The Audio Medium

The Cancer Conspiracy
The Audio Medium

Mary Shelley herself could not have imagined such a modern Prometheus as the one Burlington, Vt.’s The Cancer Conspiracy has created in their monster, debut full-length release. With equal, butchered parts from Godspeed You Black Emperor!, Cave In, The Fucking Champs, Miles Davis, and perhaps progressive kraut-rock icons Can or Faust, The Audio Medium is an album unlike no other. Each song is the genomic equivalent of an entire, epic album that can have opposing moments of more subdued tranquil melody and full-on psychedelic rock that is quite heavy.
Perhaps songs one and two from The Audio Medium convey best what it is that The Cancer Conspiracy have in mind when a decision was made to build upon a metal/hardcore background and “pursue more subtle and straight-forward avenues to the soul.” A beautiful piano and guitar piece set within an audio environment of lingering suspense takes the listener from the song “…To Sleep” into “Broken Heartbeats Gathered and Rebroadcast.” I’m half expecting Cave In’s Stephan Brodsky to begin singing, but that is not the case for what is an appreciated all-instrumental affair. Without that vocal assistance, The Cancer Conspiracy rely on truly unique song structures that keep the listener from becoming bored or lost in what can be broadly categorized as math-rock. These are no simple or standard equations, nor are they difficult enough that the average indie-rock fan can’t be swept up in the addictive rhythms. Heck, when you’ve played with such varied acts as Isis, The Dismemberment Plan, and Man or Astroman (as The Cancer Conspiracy has), you’re going to want to be sure that there is something primal in your songs that everyone can move their head to.
In their song “Loft Complication,” these bitches brew up a fused psychedelic and jazz pot of rock that would make Miles himself smack his trumpet-playing lips at this song’s saxophone groove. With recording help from Kurt Ballou and Matt Squire, it is Greg Beedle (drums, keyboards, saxophone), Brent Frattini (bass, radio manipulation), and Daryl Rabidoux (guitars) and their ability to touch on so many varied styles with an intricate and heavy style that keeps this release many steps ahead of anything else out there.
The album’s title song, “The Audio Medium,” is an individually titled four-part conclusion to an album that plays out Dr. Travis John’s liner note letter. In that, he explains the band threatening a systematic black-operative commercial radio conspiracy that is in line with what you may already know about why the band is named The Cancer Conspiracy. Certainly there is something suspicious about a release this good and a band this talented.