Jun 2017 05

John Bergin - Crash & Burn Vol. 1John Bergin
Category: Industrial / Darkwave
Album: Crash & Burn Vol. 1
Stars: 4
Blurb: The first in a series of EPs serving as a soundtrack to a literary adrenaline fueled world where life and death are dealt like prizes to those who take the obsessions of a video game into the lethal realm of reality.


It is perhaps no surprise that much of John Bergin’s musical output has been in the realm of soundtracks, particularly to novels and comic books; as a writer and illustrator himself, one would be hard pressed to consider anybody more adept at crafting an audio accompaniment to the written word. With Crash & Burn Vol. 1, Bergin offers the first in a series of EPs, crafting a lushly energetic soundtrack to a novella by author Sophia Died in which death is dealt out in exchange for cash prizes to stunt drivers who take their extreme activities outside of the safety of video games into the lethality of the real world. The music on Crash & Burn Vol. 1 encompasses a broad range of styles that demonstrates Bergin’s proficiency as a composer and producer. Tracks like “Reach the Breach,” “Drive Through the Fire,” and “Metalhedz” with their upbeat rhythms and pulsating, melodic arpeggios fit alongside the current nostalgic trend of ‘80s new wave and retro/electro, while the ominous, mechanical, and sparsely atonal loops of the darkly ambient “Fleshman” and “Lair” bear a resemblance to Bergin’s work in C17H19No3, albeit with a slightly more primitive sonic palette. The opening track “Desert Road,” which features Crime Lords of 1982, continues in this vein as a steady synth pulse builds to a foreboding and electrified rhythm as sustained howls of darkly melodic synths remind this writer of longtime cohort Brett Smith’s opening theme to Bergin’s From Inside. And then there is “Crash & Burn,” which is as incendiary and as impacting as its title suggests – stomping beats and guttural guitars play like the soundtrack to a breakneck chase through a fatal obstacle course, the listener running on pure adrenaline with no consideration for life or death. At a little over 27 minutes long, Crash & Burn Vol. 1 is as dynamic and as rapidly paced as the story it accompanies. Its synthwave stylings offer something of a throwback to Bergin’s earliest electronic analog experiments, but the ambient loop-based hallmarks of what he would later cultivate with Trust Obey and C17H19No3 are there and do well to build anticipation for what else he has up his sleeve for later editions in the series.
Track list:

  1. Desert Road
  2. Crash & Burn
  3. Metalhedz
  4. Fleshman
  5. Lair
  6. Reach the Breach
  7. Drive Through the Fire

John Bergin/Stompbox13
Website, Facebook, Twitter, Bandcamp
Purchase at:
Amazon MP3
Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)

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