Join The Infestation


Mighty Music, 2012

REVIEW BY: Benjamin Ray


Join The Infestation, the second album from Canadian based artist and record label head Celleste, is bound to draw favorable comparisons to early Alanis Morrisette and possibly Avril Lavigne, albeit with a pop punk twist to the music.

Celleste's voice is an appealing mix of old-time torch singer and sarcastic rock chick, blending the two beautifully on songs like "Superstar (By Myself)" and the verses of "Bitter Pill." Many of the songs are directed at presumably an ex-boyfriend/husband, who sounds like a self-obsessed shallow tool, while the rest are about self-reliance and coming back strong (the lone exception is the concert opener party of the title track).


Unlike Adele, who was more introspective with her emotions, Celleste casts aside this nameless male with a flick of the middle finger: "You're just a thorn in my side / Wasting my time / You're gutless and blue," from "Gutless and Blue," or "Sick and tired / What am I waiting for?," or "Don't wanna be on your miserable ride / Your mistakes, not mine / You're just afriad cause you know what I can do." The best is the revenge fantasy of "Bitter Pill," which includes a deceptive Shania Twain-esque chorus and the lines "I'm thinking I could tamper with your brakes / And send you on a long drive / Wrapped up in a carpet at the bottom of the lake / Sounds nice..." Note to self: Don't piss this girl off.

Likewise, the songs about strength are not the embarassing "I Am Woman" kind, but rather the self-esteem speeches we give ourselves after we've been knocked down: "My heart still beats / So you better fasten your seatbelt / Cause I come back strong," or the personal ad of "Call Me Crazy," or "Show a little faith and shut your mouth / Maybe I'm onto something ... Cause I just want to be what I'll be by myself."

All guitars and production are handled by Eric Dick, who provides a musical backdrop that draws from Green Day, Avril and Shania but is fully modern, save for the strange (and appealing) sort of 1940s-era vibe that hums through the songs and Celleste's vocals. One could imagine songs like "Call Me Crazy" being played on modern country radio and "Onto Something" on rock radio; the songs here are available on iTunes under "New And Noteworthy," for those who are intrigued.

"Gutless And Blue" has a blues rock vibe that would interest the Black Crowes, opener "Sick And Tired" has a racing near punk beat and the kiss-off of "Superstar (By Myself)" is the likely candidate for hit single, provided it could wedge in between the EDM remixes and Katy Perry on pop radio. It's not without flaws, but the best of Join The Infestation (ick) proves that the tough yet approachable Celleste deserves exposure and has something to say.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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