Spastic Ink - Ink Complete
Review by David Griffiths, Sonic Death
It makes you wonder about the minds of the people formerly in Watchtower. Ron Jarzombek ended up doing this wildly technical project under the moniker Spastic Ink while two other members ended up in Retarded Elf. I sense a theme...
Quite why this name was adopted for the ultra-technical project is beyond me as I can't think of anything off-hand that matches this kind of intensity in its musicianship. It's not even vaguely disguised, taking on unusual themes Ron just lets rip on all manner of wild guitar excursions, confidently backed up by powerful, intricate bass lines and a masterful display of skin-pounding by Bobby Jarzombek. With three virtuoso performances going on you would be forgiven for thinking it's a clumsy mess, yet somehow the band's music flows very well, combining to create a full picture rather than falling apart in a heap.
I was a little sceptical at first; I mean what exactly is the reason for this all? There's no vocals and hence no lyrics, so what are they trying to get across? A flick through the booklet tells us that most songs actually set out with a concept, and the music is written to convey that. For instance "A Morning With Squeakie" is the tale of a squirrel's morning. This probably sounds ridiculous but when you hear the song with it's fits and starts of fluid guitar runs it's not so hard to imagine little Squeakie scampering along. Okay I sound completely nuts... but you try it! The fitting nature of the music for the concepts invoked is pretty astounding, after a while it almost becomes it's own visual and when the little things click into place it all starts to make more sense.
Listening to this can be incredibly daunting; it's a CD that demands full attention to start with, give it that and the melodies seep into your mind and after a while it becomes very enjoyable. Still, I wouldn't put it on at a party.
David Griffiths, Sonic Death