Crack Cloud, has dropped their new single “Tunnel Vision,” the track is off their forthcoming release PAIN OLYMPICS, due out on July 17th on Meat Machine. While frontman and lyricist Zach Choy is in many ways the face of the group, the collective is one founded on equality, and in his cryptic lyrical blending of poetics, polemics and personal experience, Choy is truly the mouthpiece of something far larger than himself.
Crack Cloud operate on the frontline of Canada’s out-of-control opiate crisis, mobilising and organising in Vancouver’s harm reduction programmes. The group themselves have had their fair share of trauma, and the collective offers its members a vital vehicle for rehabilitation and recovery. As the tagline on the album’s back cover makes clear then, this is absolutely ‘based on true shit.’
While Crack Cloud are clearly not shy to bear the scars of their personal history, this album is a fundamentally forwards-looking one and offers an exciting portrait of a band in a moment of metamorphosis. Musically, the group have taken much of the post-punk and no wave influences that informed their aforementioned EPs and totally reinvented them through a sonic kaleidoscope of hip-hop, musical theatre, dance music and downright pop which allows them to explore a vast panoply of different emotional states.
On album closer, ‘Angel Dust,’ Choy offers the clearest picture of the world that Crack Cloud are navigating in PAIN OLYMPICS. Suspended in between a past that “haunts us all” and a future that is “littered with doubt,” we are all “locked in limb and space.” Locked into our bodies, the pain that Crack Cloud are exploring on this album is not a disembodied one. It is social pain; it is mental pain; it is emotional pain. Ultimately though, more than anything, it is a real, bodily, physical pain. To live is to be engaged in a permanent pain olympics. As the sample at the end of its closer remarks, “the game of life is a misery.” But accepting pain as the condition and affirmation of human life is the first step towards enlightenment. It is the first step towards hope, which is exactly what Crack Cloud are trying to offer their audience on Pain Olympics.
1. Post Truth (Birth of a Nation)
2. Bastard Basket
3. Something’s Gotta Give
4. The Next Fix (A Safe Space)
5. Favour Your Fortune
6. Ouster Stew
7. Tunnel Vision
8. Angel Dust (Eternal Peace)