Generation Sap


Radioactive Records, 1999

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


If you thought combining all the European currencies into the Euro was something amazing, you obviously haven't heard Cyclefly yet.

Imagine it: a band comprised of two brothers from Ireland, a bassist and drummer from France, and a guitarist from Italy. Sound like the World Cup of music? It's real, and Cyclefly's debut effort Generation Sap shows that they're here for the long run.

Mixing pop sensibility with the intensity that was once the foundation of true alternative music, vocalist Declan O'Shea, guitarists Ciaran O'Shea and Nono Presta, bassist Christian Montagne and drummer Jean Michel Cavallo blast through eleven slabs of raw meat that do a Texas two-step on your spinal column. It's a helluva great feeling - and if the band had been able to maintain that energy level throughout the album, it would have been unstoppable.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

They say that the proof is in the pudding, and in this case, that is the lead-off single "Supergod". (If you have the cash, definitely pick up the four-track single which includes a video of "Supergod".) Declan O'Shea could well be the next John Lydon, with the way he can put his vocals through acrobatics. Ciaran O'Shea and Presta both know the right time to turn their Les Pauls from gentla strumming to full-tilt shred. All the while, Montagne and Cavallo are providing a solid backbeat that keeps the whole song in line.

Generation Sap is filled with moments like that. The opening track "Violet High" evokes some memories of Tool with the structure the rhythm section takes before Declan O'Shea steps up to the microphone. Likewise, "Better Than You," "Plastic Coated Man" and "Crawl Down" all leave you begging for more, cna more often than not, Cyclefly is there to deliver.

With all these strengths, it's amazing that only two mistakes are made throughout the course of Generation Sap. First, "Whore" is a track that could have benefitted from the use of the razorblade; it takes a little too long for the band to make their musical point, and by the time they do, I found I had lost interest in the track. Second - and this is by no means a mortal sin, especially for a band's freshman effort - they just aren't able to keep the intensity kicked up for the length of the album. Songs like "Sump," "Slaves" and the title track probably could have been killer, but it almost seems like the band starts running out of gas at the end. They're not bad tracks, but they're not the same when you compare them to the bulk of the material on Generation Sap.

Still, these points are relatively minor, and they all are things that are correctable. Cyclefly proves often throughout Generation Sap that they have the way and means to forge a name for themselves in the world of alternative and rock. Now, all they need is a fighting chance - which is where you come in. Go ahead, pick it up... electricity running up and down your spine rarely feels so good.

Rating: B

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 1999 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Radioactive Records, and is used for informational purposes only.