Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Surfing with CryoShell

Allmusic's biggest failure may be that they don't have a proper biography of the band CryoShell. Of course, that's true of the band's website too, leading me to believe that CRYOSHELL ARE SHROUDED IN MYSTERY. Either that, or they're an Archies-like jingle machine for the LEGO corporation, a theory supported by this droll Wikipedia entry:

"Cryoshell is a Danish band best known for their work for Lego BIONICLE advertisements. Until their site changed its cover in promotion for their newest song, "Bye Bye Babylon", the site contained a strange and interesting story stub relating to a powerful biomechanical form in the Arctic, called the Cryoshell, from which the band may take its name. There were also fictional profiles of the three band members..."

Indeed, the most hilarious comment for the above-linked Youtube says, "I work at a LEGO store and this song KEEPS PLAYING in the Bionicle section. Good song when heard thru occasionally, not when you hear the chorus every 3 minutes for 5 hours straight!" Momentarily set aside the question of how huge the LEGO store must be to have a whole Bionicle section. You can really hear the pathos of the Common Man in commenter 902411's words, especially if you've ever worked retail.

I'm puzzled as to why the latest Bionicle jingle is a Babylon song. A cursory search turns up nothing in the Bionicle line of fine products that would support such imagery, but maybe I'm missing something (or maybe something's coming down the pike). The song does sound like what I imagine Bionicle fans hear when they're playing with their action figures or video games, i.e., an uninteresting Lacuna Coil knockoff, sung by a hot chick.

Though it dabbles in "Middle Eastern" scales by throwing some flat seconds into the guitar riff, CryoShell's Babylon song has little in common with Rainbow's far superior invitation to hell. "Bye Bye Babylon" is basically a smattering of Babylon cliches mixed with the sort of dimestore (LEGOstore?) antiauthoritarianism that advertisers and their young demographic targets love.

This Bionicled Babylon is a land that reaches for the sun, depraves everyone, is scattered and will run, left burning in the sun; so right there we've got the Tower of Babel's hubris, the unspecified moral depravity of hair metal's Babylon, and the fact that Babylon's in the desert. These various definitions do NOT mean that lead singer "Lore" is operating on some multi-tiered architectonic platform of deep meaning. More likely, she (or whoever wrote it) didn't know why they were writing a song about Babylon any more than we do, so they went to Wikipedia and tried to incorporate every meaning in the book. (No whores, though; missed one!)

Note the lack of specificity. We don't know exactly how Babylon is obstructing our heroine's fight for... whatever it is she's fighting for. Freedom? Identity? The right to trademark Maori words for commercial purposes? (Dude, some of those words sound pretty rad.) Maybe she should buy some Bionicles and make them fight; I bet that'd help.

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