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<  My Band  ~  Crackpot Theory

PostPosted: Thu Apr 02, 2009 12:52 pm Reply with quote
Posts: 112 Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:04 am Location: PalmyWebsite:
This post is for those of you that have noticed the four ($5 each, bargin) releases from Crackpot Theory at Mango music.

Crackpot Theory is 17 year old Daniel Ashcroft, a Palmerston North musician, credited as playing all instruments and doing vocals on all four releases. His first record is an exploration of his talent, set out in the format of Rap Metal. By the third outing Crackpot Theory is delving deeper, loosing much of the rap and replacing it with the guttural screams characteristic of Swamp Metal. The latest release 'Parental Advisory' is a deviation from the rest, entering the realm of Death/Black Metal, going as far as to reimagine the song 'Catacombs' of the previous EP.

Ashcroft is currently working on his 5th and possibly last album. Quoting from the AmosAnon myspace 'completly finished 2 songs,7 songs have all the music dun an just need vocals an 2 songs need gats an vocals,
so it shud b dun and released in a few more weeks', so keep your fingers ready for that.

Draft Video for 'Janitor' from the 5th Album - by AmosAnon

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:44 pm Reply with quote
Posts: 112 Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:04 am Location: PalmyWebsite:
CRACKPOT THEORY : Vol 3: Mixed CD for a Double Suicide
By Alistar Wickens
was completely wrong about this CD. Reading the blurb that came with it - 18 year old makes lo-fi music in his bedroom and thinks the quality has improved with this recording - I was sceptical. But though I've got no idea what the previous two Crackpot releases were like (both released last year by this solo recording machine), I really enjoyed this one. If you can get past the fact that it's not the most technical album released lately, nor the best produced, and at times has vocals that sound like an 18-year old singing by himself in his bedroom, you'll find a fun, heavy album. It was a pleasant surprise not to find the lo-fi, depressing solo indie album I was expecting to hear. Daniel Ashcroft has recorded this by himself, in his bedroom, and he's still only a young fella. It's scary to think what he might be capable of with a budget, a few more years developing his skills, and a studio worthy of his sound. I for one will be waiting with anticipation.

PostPosted: Tue Nov 17, 2009 12:44 pm Reply with quote
Posts: 112 Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:04 am Location: PalmyWebsite:
Crackpot Theory: Parental Advisory
By Alistar Wickens
Parental Advisory is a ripping set of nine death metal style tracks from one talented 18 year old recording (in his bedroom) under the name Crackpot Theory. I had the pleasure of reviewing his last output recently and commented then that I thought he had the potential to go far, as long as he kept growing his writing (or something along those lines). He’s certainly done that with this release, which expands on his earlier work but comes out sounding better produced and more mature. The handwritten notes accompanying the album mention that he wanted this album to be fast, heavy, technical, melodic and listenable all at the same time - and I would have to say that he’s hit all those points and hit them well.

PostPosted: Sat Dec 12, 2009 11:51 am Reply with quote
Posts: 112 Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:04 am Location: PalmyWebsite:
iv got an unreleased album and two unreleased EPs. and i reli dnt wanna put them all out coz im gunna hav to buy shitloads of cd cases and ink cartriges.
so im just gunna make it all one album, but have it in sections...
so the first five songs will b the brand new ones...the next 5 will be other new ones (that are all acoustic)..and the next 7 are the crackpot fairy tale ones..and the last 3 are the last 3 from crackpot fairy tales..
its gunna be kinda a concept album lol, its defently not gunna work..but i just wanna get all the songs out...and its officially gunna b my last release

from the crackpot theory myspace.

PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 12:01 pm Reply with quote
Posts: 112 Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:04 am Location: PalmyWebsite:
Crackpot Theory
Black Metal Much?
Review by AMOSANON

It’s hard to believe this is the product of a brooding teenage boy locked in his bedroom. Like all their other releases Crackpot Theory’s Dan Ashcroft records and plays everything on this record by himself, but unlike previous releases it doesn’t show.

From the beginning track to the last it is New Zealand metal at its best. At the opening of ‘Depressionist’ I knew that Ashcroft had graduated from mopey teenager to rockstar. As the title Black Metal Much? suggests, gone is the rapping and low emotional drone that drips of teenage issues . All that’s left are screams, growls and metal. The stand-out track for me was ‘Scarkiss’; the growls of the first verse are reminiscent of Eight Foot Sativa’s ‘Believer’ and the unusual and heavy riffs of the opening reek of Black Metal.

This release sees Ashcroft effectively doing covers of his own band with the revision of two previously released Crackpot Theory tracks, ‘In Your Head’ from Emilie’s Illusion and ‘Scorch my Skin’ from Vol. 3: Mixed CD for a Double Suicide. The revisions show off Ashcroft’s progression as a musician. The gloomy Goth ballad ‘In your head’ has morphed from a ballad to a solid punch of pure metal and the mopey Gothic vocals have become a guttural scream. The experimental stereo panning and background orchestration of ‘Scorch my Skin’ has been stripped away, revealing a gnarly bestial skeleton, the terror of which surpasses the monster it once was.

The recording quality of the instruments, the drums especially, has improved drastically, even since the last release. What once sounded like a cacophony of suitcases and pots being thrashed in quick procession behind the intense guitar riffage has become the rib-rattling backbone of double kicks and precise drum rolls. If Crackpot Theory’s development continues exponentially the next release, due November 2010, could easily be confused for a major-label commercial release.

PostPosted: Tue May 31, 2011 9:34 am Reply with quote
Posts: 112 Joined: Wed Jan 14, 2009 8:04 am Location: PalmyWebsite:
Crackpot Theory - Desperation Album Review
29 May 2011 // A review by Petros

This is a message for those people who read my Crackpot Theory Black Metal Much? review: I told you so.

This new two CD set showcases the best bits of Dan Ashcroft's relatively short career in music and puts it against the products of his process of perfecting his art. Purely DIY, yet expertly designed and executed, Desperation proves itself to be worthy of its spot next to the major label releases in the metal section of JB HIFI and deserving of its place as a release under Palmerston North's $lave Collective.

For those who haven't seen the album cover yet, what you're looking at is a teenage boy, desperate by definition, ripping out his own eye to peak into the girls' bathroom. This is one of those rare releases, like Millie Jackson's Back to the Shit,where the cover art is actually a reflection of the album's title. Also like Back to the Shit the title reflects the content of the album; where Millie Jackson's album is a collection of shit songs, Desperation is a collection of desperate songs about desperation. In case the album cover isn't enough of an indication, the picture on the inside cover of a hitch-hiking Dan Ashcroft wearing his nipple-less shirt should tell you this album is Dan being true to his quirky self instead of sticking to the same generic metal recipe within the stale rap-metal genre. The result is a unique album with little semblance to anything I have seen under the broad umbrella of commercial music. Nowhere else but on this record will a slamming metal riff segue into an old school Snoop Dogg track or break into choral refrain.

The recording quality is improved since Black Metal Much? And a step closer to commercial viability. The toms are distinguishable from the snare and kick drum and have lost the sloppy resonance that made some of the early releases sound Dan was beating the shit out of a cardboard box.

Some of you will be pleased to hear that the rapping is back. The track 'Clinical Obsession'begins with fast death-metal riffagery and guttural screams, but by the end has progressed thru the genres of rap and synth pop.

'Intense Therapy' is where we see some of the heaviest guitar on the album, but like the previous track or a Beethoven symphony it goes thru several movements before concluding ending with 'It's a Doggy Dog World' from Snoop Dogg. Somewhere in the middle you'll find my favourite Dan Ashcroft quote; "I am not an Asshole. I am a man."

Also noteworthy is a metal cover of Bomfunk MC's 'Freestyler,' which will surely touch the hearts of those alive enough in early years of the naughties to be touched by the original.

The last two complimenting tracks do a lot for the album. They tell a tale of teenagers in love while sticking to the umbrella theme of contrasting ideals, ideas and style and fitting to the album's title Desperation.

The second CD, the Crackpot Compilation, is a good introduction for those unfamiliar with the days of $5 ipsographic CDs at Mango Music and is a gauge of how far Dan Ashcroft has come for those, like myself, who have been there since the beginning. The compilation spans the entire Crackpot Theory back catalogue, in some sort of loose reverse order. It's good in the sense that this order makes the compilation work like a string of memory, from the most recent entry to the thought that is most foreign from this future.

People who have frequented the now obsolete Crackpot Theory Myspace will recognise a few of the previously unreleased tracks, such as "Webcam Girl" and "Caliente Maria." I remember first hearing these two tracks around the same time as purchasing Crackpot Theory's Vol. 3: Mix CD for a Double-Suicide. It was the first hint of Dan's work towards an increased production value and the coming deviation from the Rap-Metal genre, which culminated in the release of the previously reviewed Black Metal, Much?

'Babysitter' is one of the more commercial of the Crackpot tracks. I little professional mastering and the track wouldn't seem out of place between a bit of Slayer and Pantera on Hauraki. Those familiar with Dan Ashcroft's collaborations with AmosAnon will recognise some of the riffs, which I believe also turned up in a self-shot video of Dan on the Crackpot Theory Facebook and Dan's Youtube.

'The Picture' heads deeper into the 90s death metal aesthetics, while still retaining the familiar Crackpot aspects - the tight drum rolls, the shrill shreds, the quintessential Dan Ashcroft scream of residual teenage angst.

I suggest this album to those looking for something different, or those willing to support a struggling artist who paid out of his own pocket to produce a record for you to listen to (You pretty much owe him), or the diehard fans, or the new fans who haven't heard the origin of Dan.

(Sauce: ... bum-review)


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