Greetings fellow users! As some of you are aware, I’ve started a little user review competition in which the winner receives an automatic feature, as well as a “user spotlight” session. It basically consists of an informal chat in which I ask some personal questions as well as some silly ones. This week’s winner was cryptologous, who reviewed Norma Jean’s Polar Similar.
Sowing: So you’re Australian. Elaborate.
cryptologous: Aye matey. I was born and raised in the UK, but have spent a good deal of my teenage-to-adult years living in this brown Southern Land. As for Aussie activities, I am a big fan of the art of barbecue. I attend a good deal of gigs here, but that aside, introversion and crappy puns are my main deal. That is probably more my English side showing than anything, but ya know, barbecues. Aussie Aussie Aussie.
I love barbecues. Do you guys grill weird shit because it’s Australia? You know, like Koala toes or something? Or is it your typical American fare like burgers and dogs?
Well, probably the weirdest commodity commercially available for the avid barbecue fan (or any Australian male) would be kangaroo meat. That being said, a couple years back during a road trip, I stopped off at a camping site. Some bloke rocked up in his truck and headed straight for the barbecues with a lizard he had run over during his travels. Gave us all a bite, and it unsurprisingly tasted like rubbery chicken. Aside from that, it is your typical fare: burgers, snaggers (a cheap hot dog equivalent for the middle class or frequenters at outdoor living superstore, Bunnings), and anything that looks like steak.
Everything tastes like chicken, am I right? No, but in all seriousness that all sounds like fun. You’ll have to forgive my general ignorance. As an American I just picture all Australians mucking through the wilderness wrestling lethal animals and yelling crikey. Am I wrong, though? Or was that just DaveyBoy?
Haha you aren’t too far from the truth with basically everything there. If it can be killed and cooked, it probably tastes like chicken. Having spent most of my time living in the wasteland that is Western Australia, I could go on for a good while on just how nuts leisure time can be. Chasing kangaroos on motorbikes, sheep wrestling (though that could have just been my mates), hunting snakes, and downing lethal amounts of alcohol on a daily basis. DaveyBoy sounds like he knows his stuff, and you can essentially coin your own Aussie name by shortening your last name to one sylable, then adding either “-O”, or “-ey” to the end. The best I have yet heard was my senior year co-ordinator, a 68 year old lady dubbed Bozo.
I just googled “Australian Sheep Wrestling” and found some things I’m not quite comfortable with, so you might want to check your mates there. Anyway Cryptologo (did I do that right? thought it sounded better than Cryptologoey, which just sounds dreadful) – what is your name from? How did you come up with that?
Trust me when I say the more uncomfortable Aussie sheep wrestling is actually a New Zealand invention. We don’t call ’em sheep-shaggers for nothing! I’d say a valiant effort on your part, but another user on the site coined “Crypto”, which is a little easier on the tongue haha. Essentially, I just wanted an angsty sounding name that wasn’t taken on Instagram. Tried a couple of options, and after watching some footage online of an early Cryptopsy show, I figured “crypt-something” would probably work. Apparently, cryptography is a thing too (a communication subject of sorts) which I discovered soon after coming up with the name, and as someone who is currently studying languages, it kinda just sealed the deal. Idk how popular contrived usernames are, but I think it has a nice ring to it!
Sure, blame NZ. I’ll be sure to let Deviant know that’s how you guys see ’em. Oh well, at least they have the Lord of the Rings series to clear their name (I think it was filmed in NZ and am not entirely sure, but I’m trying to segway to my next question, OKAY?). Speaking of which, I have to loop you into a debate I’ve been having with some of my friends lately – who would win in a battle, Gandalf or Dumbledore?
I’ve visited NZ a couple of times, and I gotta say, I am absolutely sold. Gorgeous country. Actually visited the set for Hobbiton, and boy was that shweet. If I were to choose, I would definitely say Gandalf has the upper hand. I’m not knowledgeable about the lore or details of either series, but let me know when Dumbledore next fights something as freakish as the Balrog, and I’ll consider reconsidering.
Good man, you made the right choice. No need to go into that any further because you clearly know what’s up with wizards. Onto the next topic – I see you listen to A LOT of metal. I mean, your pie chart is like 82% metal, and that’s assuming that nothing under “folk”, “experimental”, or “stoner rock” also qualifies. Why so noisy? You’d think in such gorgeous country down under you’d be more mellow.
Hear hear! I probably haven’t left my angsty teenage phase yet. That being said, I listen to a crap-tonne of non-metal, but just haven’t gotten around to rating it on the site. But yes, I do listen to a lot of metal. I love the diversity (folk being a primary example, so yea, most of that slice consists of black metal hybrids) of the genre, and am generally a sucker for anything that hits like a truck. This is also partially due to living in the West for so long, where the only music that exists is a combination of the top 40s, and awkward country renditions of the national anthem. The first album I ever remember listening to was Whoracle by In Flames, so that probably skewed my musical mentality a fair bit!
Yikes. If those were my options I’d probably be a metalhead too, so I can’t say I blame ya. Who are your top 3 metal acts right now?
That is a pretty tough one. I’d say there has been a massive amount of great metal releases this year, so I couldn’t pick anything that covers the entirety of 2016 or longer. As of the past month or so, however, definitely Unfathomable Ruination, Départe (Aussie Aussie Aussie) and Mare Cognitum. Also big props to Blood Incantation; their debut is pretty killer.
Do you play any instruments?
I am a failed drummer and occasionally like to strum the guitar. My style of play in no way reflects the music I listen to (probably because most of it is so damn fast). I’m quite the fan of slow jams over post rock, and get a lot of lead inspiration from jazz fusion acts/artists. Due to a combination of student poverty and laziness, I have spent the past two months playing a six string with both E strings missing, so that has definitely made my jam session a tad more interesting (would definitely recommend trying DDGB, with the A string tuned to drop D. Wobbly good time).
I hear that – listening preferences and personal artistic interests do not always have to overlap. I’m impressed by anyone who can play an instrument halfway effectively to be honest; I’m purely the listener type. I’m okay with an acoustic guitar but that’s it. Do you have any aspirations as an artist, or is it just recreational like it is for me?
Playing an instrument definitely has its perks, and I am especially grateful my listening preferences haven’t rubbed off too strongly on what I play. Guitar Center shredders are the bane of my existence. And yea, mainly recreational. The stuff I do write is generally pretentious post-fueled nonsense drenched in enough reverb to make one believe in a God. But when I say “write”, I mean record a guitar track into a DAW, then leave it there for a few months only to delete it when it eventually becomes embarrassing.
Haha that sounds a lot like me in college. I’m guessing that’s how most are with their artistic ambitions…but on the bright side, you’re probably your own harshest critic and some of the stuff, even if it’s painfully derivative, is probably halfway decent.
Nail on the head with that one. If I can replicate Explosions in the Sky’s 2003 release with flawless accuracy, I am essentially a 4.2 rip-off, and I can accept that! Self-criticism is a pain in the face, but actually answering in text that I play recreationally rather than for performance reasons is definitely a comforting thought. Shouldn’t really have any reason to criticize myself if my primary reason to strum is for the fun of it!
Precisely! OK so prior to the start of this spotlight session you basically told me that you won this week’s review competition by accident. Care to explain to the userbase?
Haha sure thing. Norma Jean’s “Wrongdoers” was released during a pretty trying time of my life thus far, and while I can’t say it revolutionized my mindset on a specific topic or it’s respective genres in general, I can say it arrived precisely when I needed to hear it. Wasn’t a huge fan of the band up until that point, but I had listened to most of their records and enjoyed their sound enough to pick up a copy of the record. Fast track to the present, and I was very eager to get my hands on a copy of the new release. Made the pre-order, got my digital copy, spun it like a madman, and began writing. Had no clue this week’s competition included this record as I hadn’t been as active on Sputnik as I usually am (as a lurker anyway) and was given the privilege of a feature. Checked my shoutbox randomly to find that I had won for this week, and well, here we are! Pretty damn cool surprise, I gotta say.
Well intentional or not, it was well-deserved. Also goes to show that good things can happen when you least expect. Alright now, I have a series of questions that tradition deems necessary that I ask. Some of them are easy, others are daunting, and a few are downright loopy. Are you ready?
Appreciate it man! I think the review turned out pretty well, and I have been enjoying the discussion surrounding the album. Not sure what constitutes as “ready”, but I’ll give ’em a shot haha
Tell us something that nobody on Sputnik knows about you.
That’s pretty easy, seeing how I haven’t spent as much time as a commenter on the website than most! I am brutally addicted to PG Tips tea. It is actually having serious negative effects on my finances, as buying it in Australia is an expensive ordeal, and I consume at least 7 tea bags a day (bare minimum). I also do believe Wario was a libertarian.
Next – open up whatever media player you use and put your entire playlist on shuffle. Give us the first 3 tracks that come up, no matter how embarrassing.
- Mist förståndet -Vildhjarta
- Siren Sound – Intervals
- Devils of Last Night – Beastwars
Would have preferred a Vildhjarta track from the debut, but what can ya do
I know you said you aren’t much of a commenter, but do you have a sputnik BFF? Or someone you’d ask to the sputnik prom?
Aye man, I can’t say I do just yet! That being said, my favourite user is probably Jac. He provided awesome critique on my first few posts, plus his tastes are generally up my alley. I am a general all-round sadist, however, so I’d probably try and set Anthracks and OvDeath up, then watch from the sidelines.
Outstanding. This next one is a bit like truth or dare, minus the truth (have you seen the new movie Nerve)? I want you to nominate any other user on this site to do something you know they would not want to do. For example, you might ask me to review Brand New’s The Devil and God are Raging Inside Me at a 1.0 while being as sincere and objective as possible. Or perhaps ask Jac to rank the songs on Linkin Park’s Minutes to Midnight and then feature his own list. That person can then nominate another user, and so on. Shit will get crazy. Care to start the domino effect?
Haven’t seen it, but know the general gist haha. Damn this sounds like it could get real interesting. Probably get Crysis to do a 3.7 review of “The Order of Things” from ATR, or a top 5 Enslaved albums list that includes brief descriptions as to why each of the 5 chosen records is a stand-out within the black metal genre. Or maybe an alternate reality re-review of Years Past Matter, in which hyperion gave it a 5.0. Idk man, the possibilities are endless.
Crysis/hyperion: your moves. Finally – and I hate to get political – but in times of unrest such as this it’d be nice to get an outside perspective on the issues that matter most to us here in America. Harambe: legend, or just your everyday hero?
Legend. His death has led to the funniest creations on the net I have seen in a long while. R.I.P. matey, I’d pull mine out but I’m wearing a spandex skin suit.