You may know of Crimson Ivy if you were listening to industrial / gothic / dirge rock in the late 1980s or early 1990s. They disbanded – but after over fifteen years in sweet dreamless sleep they’ve yawned, rubbed their eyes and woken up.
Crimson Ivy followers tend to most like their 1993 album Bloodlife (6 of the eight Bloodlife tracks are legally available to download here, should you desire a taste of crimson). Russ, Karl and Brad recorded the album to ‘examine relations amongst the silken dissimulation machine’s presence’.
And what does that mean? It means that “Dreams of beautiful colours, faces and feelings” are “taught out of the child until naked knees are ever slowly pressed, too much weight, on the asphalt in front of the steel and glass paper electricity king so as not to awaken inner strength and compassion and diminish the will to live… Morphed into addiction and behavior squeezed into a strange corner induced boundary.”
Since Spiritual Vision in 1988 and the Existence EP in 1989 (both on Epithet Records), the melting vinyl of primary musical influences had now claimed a more individual ambiance, with Russ’ songwriting maturing.
“I heard someone being interviewed on the radio once, talking about when a band starts out – they might sound like one of their influences. As the band matures, more influences are taken in, indirectly and unconsciously, until individual influences are less recognizable. In other words, as a band gets better at making the music they want to make, they become more original. I think the Bloodlife tracks really represent that for Crimson Ivy,” says Russ.
From the full sound of Sometimes to the rhythmic undercurrents in Revolt, the Bloodlife album is a vibesy dark roast of techno, goth, metal and industrial java that stirs up a raw verve more common in rock bands like Prong or Motorhead.
Crimson Ivy has an additional album completed and soon to be released. Having been revived in 2009, connoisseurs of industrial / gothic / dirge / electronic music will no doubt have their dendrites exposed to the sonic cuttings that Crimson Ivy continues to propagate.