I say Cmn ineed yr hlp and you look at me with a puzzled look. I figure it is hard to do a review of the band "Cmn ineed yr hlp" without at least a quick explanation of their bandname. Simply put this mathy, progressive post-rock's bandname is based on a text from the drummer's grandmother. Once you acquiesce to this glorious bandname you'll discover this three piece from Chicago play some well crafted, catchy music.
Cmn ineed yr hlp's album is entitled 'It Came Without Warning...As Most Disasters Do' and it tells a story with the use of numerous narrative samples throughout its five songs. These samples add substantial depth to the material. It is so commonplace for post-rock to have no vocals that I found the samples to be a refreshing alternative to solely instrumental songs. The story and music work well around each other. The samples often signify tempo and mood changes or set off bursts of guitar or a drop down to a softer passage. The story, as summarized by the bandcamp page is : 'a combination of King Kong, 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea and Free Willy, the album tells the tale of a gentle sea monster trapped and kept against his will for the amusement and profits of his oceanfront captors. Our protagonist becomes frustrated with his predicament and sets forth on a plan to escape, regardless of the cost in human life'. I envisioned an angry caged Godzilla escaping and smashing Tokyo (again) but that is just me...
The verbosely titled intro song '175 feet is a lot of water (Especially when you're under it)' quickly sets the tone for the album. A cacophony of samples rise creating an agitated and anxious mood before fading away to Jose Rosales' rhythmic strumming. Jose is joined by Ian Gegenheimer's bouncy and addictive drumming as Mark Oster's slinky sultry bass merges into a groovy little passage. The song really starts to kick however after the sample '...and there she was right in front of me...' which moves into a guitar punch to the chops. The shimmering waves of music depict a battle deep below the surface. The tracks blend into each other as you might expect on a concept album. The next track, 'Without a sail in view' starts with a snappy barrage of guitar, driving drums and velocious bass. The commanding intro hook fades into a long brooding passage that floats up and down in intensity. The trio showcase some 'brilliant, just brilliant' musicianship. It is easy to forget that there are just three guys wailing away concocting all this engaging and vibrant music.
Track three starts with the thought provoking sample 'Hidden within each of us, is not only the capacity to love and hate, but to take that final step, to be, not only a creator, but a destroyer'. Once again CIYH weave some enthralling start/stop post-rock magic. The tempo jogs up and down during the track maintaining its entrancing pull into the music. Then the conflicted song 'The Face of Disaster' crashes a tidal wave of tonality with its instrumental prestidigitation. As the samples broadcast the unfolding chaotic events, the song rampages along with furious drums and jagged riffs. The story concludes with the powerfully rendered 'Cold, airless, forbidding'. A towering track that starts and stops with incensed bouts of rage much like the story's protagonist. 'It Came Without Warning...As Most Disasters Do' ends with a somber sample pieced together from a Jim Reeves' song 'This world is not my home I'm just a passing through/ My treasures are laid up somewhere beyond the blue/ ...And I can't feel at home in this world anymore...'. Goodbye Godzilla, you poor misunderstood beast.
If I was at all skeptical about a post-rock concept album, Cmn ineed yr hlp wholly smashed my doubts like Thor's hammer on grandma's pumpkin pie. 'It Came Without Warning...As Most Disasters Do' is a satisfying, spellbinding post-rock journey with an arresting blend of dazzling melodic music and provocative storytelling. A highly recommended listen, well done Cmn ineed yr hlp.