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Vulgar Pang - Pleasures of Schizophrenia Review
By Dan Upton

It's not very often that a CD title tells you anything about what to expect from the music behind it, and generally speaking that's probably a good thing-for instance, what if Nevermind had been taken as a comment on the worthiness of the music? On Vulgar Pang's initial outing, however, the title actually gives you at least a small hint of the contents: musical schizophrenia is a very fitting description of the disc, and despite that it does end up being a fairly pleasurable experience.

I'd heard a few samples prior to actually getting the CD, so I'd only been prepared for the heavier segments of the music. Imagine my surprise, then, at the bebop-styled sax and piano intro to opener "Var Doulacha." A minute later it drifts into sludgy heavy rock for the majority of the song before fading back out with the sax. Over the next 40 minutes, the CD explores a multitude of musical styles, from the surfish stylings of "Divided by Zero" to the funky jam of "Celebrate Yourself," from the stripped back acoustic sounds of "No One Will Find Us" and "Valentine Jesus" to the pop-punk breakup song "Bender."

Mastermind and singer Craig Hawkinson manages to weave in and out of styles without too much problem, as he has plenty of range with his vocals, but there are times, such as "Divided by Zero," where it seems he can't decide what style to use or just can't quite pull off what he's going for.

The biggest problem with this CD will probably be for the type of person who likes to have every song sound the same, especially those who then insist that there are still "only 2 good songs on the whole thing." For the outgoing or open-minded music fan, however, there's plenty to enjoy here, with well-written songs, interesting lyrics, and more than enough changing things up to keep the music from growing dull halfway through the disc. Pick this one up and see that schizophrenia doesn't have to be a bad thing.

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Vulgar Pang - Pleasures of Schizophrenia


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