Cara Neir
Phase Out


3.0
good

Review

by Asleep STAFF
February 10th, 2021 | 123 replies


Release Date: 02/02/2021 | Tracklist

Review Summary: GAME OVER. CONTINUE? (Y/N)

Back in 2019, the Dallas-based dastardly-duo that is Cara Neir released III/IV, undoubtedly one of the most interesting blackened skramz records in recent memory. Now in 2021, Chris Francis and Gary Brents have chosen to present the populace with Phase Out, which is, erm, something else.

Whereas III/IV involved the careful balancing of a muddled myriad of genres - including, but not limited to mathcore, grindcore, screamo, black metal, post-hardcore, electronic AND ambient - Phase Out throws nuance completely out the window in favour of a rather extreme deviation from the band’s staple sound. What we have here is a straight-up cybergrind-ish RPG-concept album, the idea being that (and I will try to keep this brief) an interdimensional being known as “The One from Trimjrtle” has transported Chris and Gary into an alternate videogame reality (referred to as “the mysterious universe of GNAX”) for the sole amusement of that aforementioned being, with each song constituting a different in-game level that the now sword-swinging / spell-slinging duo are tasked with overcoming. It is, in no uncertain terms, a very silly album.

Chiptune beepboops, some authentic lo-fi hip hop beats to relax/study to, the occasional uninterrupted riff, back to the chiptune, some vague reference to “GATOR BATS” and “a fucking moat”, a brief bm crescendo, then I guess more wholesome beats: that’s Phase Out in a nutshell, probably, and that’s not necessarily a bad thing. If absolutely nothing else, Cara Neir’s latest fork in the road is a highly entertaining distraction, representing the most outlandish and colourful manifestation of their tendency to stitch mismatched genres together. Their latest explorative LP is indeed lighthearted, endearing and remarkably well-realised for what it is. What it is, however, simply pales in comparison to the glorious emotional and compositional heights of their previous releases. Phase Out certainly suffers when placed beside its more solemn and sincere big brother, III/IV, and whilst it may be unfair to compare like-for-like when each clearly seeks to achieve something very different, their temporal proximity coupled with the lofty expectations generated by III/IV leads to a mild sense of disappointment when wading through their latest adventure.

Please don’t be dismayed by my apparent glumness. Despite its shortcomings, Phase Out still contains everything that makes Cara Neir worth raving about, buried within its beeps, boops, chuggs and chugga-chuggas, so long as you’re willing to sift through the muck to get to it. The duo’s Jumanji-esque escapade is a journey still worth partaking in, provided you’re adequately provisioned. Fear not! Having ventured through the wastelands of GNAX myself, all you’ll need to survive is as follows:
  1. two swords, one steel and one silver, obviously;
  2. a well-worn copy of The Lusty Argonian Maid and at least twenty-two pitchers of the finest Skooma;
  3. a shirt of pure Mithrill, nasty little hobbitses optional;
  4. at least 441 of the 900 Korok seeds, for the smell (mostly);
  5. one healer per party, lv. 23 and below need not apply; and, most importantly
  6. the ‘Really Not Very Funny Joke’ skill tree maxed-out, extra points in both the Regret and Shame abilities highly recommended.




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user ratings (100)
3.5
great


Comments:Add a Comment 
AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
February 10th 2021


7261 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

im sorry



https://caraneir.bandcamp.com/album/phase-out

Mort.
February 10th 2021


16938 Comments


Argonian best race

Digging: Dance Gavin Dance - Afterburner

dedex
Contributing Reviewer
February 10th 2021


10249 Comments


Excellent rev m'boi

"Phase Out throws nuance completely out the window" that's what I felt when listening to one track off this. Will prob not give this a full listen

Demon of the Fall
February 10th 2021


22507 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Yeah this is really not good, but also occasionally better than it has any right to be (the threshold isn’t a high one). A few too many half-baked ideas. For a meme/joke/whatever this is, I suppose it could be worse. Massive disappointment after ‘III/IV’.

Digging: MONODRAMA - mndrmooaa

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
February 10th 2021


12947 Comments


Don't forget farming Hill Giants in the Varrock sewers. Good iron farming nearby too outside the city, boost them mining levels.

There have to be OSRS fans around here, right?

MarsKid
Contributing Reviewer
February 10th 2021


12947 Comments


And I agree with what others have said, this sounds like something to dump on the "Will Avoid at All Costs" list for this year. Shame on House Neir for such barbarity, shame.

SteakByrnes
February 10th 2021


25946 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Argonian best race [2]



Also this was fun, had some odd choices but overall solid jam

Digging: Kaizo Slumber - The Kaizo Manifesto

Demon of the Fall
February 10th 2021


22507 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Khajiit >

DDDeftoneDDD
February 10th 2021


19621 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

ahah I have so much fun with this album. Kind of afraid it would get some hate rev. Glad its not the case.

Digging: Dope Lemon - Rose Pink Cadillac

DDDeftoneDDD
February 10th 2021


19621 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

GAME OVER. CONTINUE? (Y/N)

Y

(INSERT COIN)

DDDeftoneDDD
February 10th 2021


19621 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I also think there's these quasi hiphop tracks/sections that pretty much match the kind of experiment thrown by acts such as MFDOOM or even Flying Lotus sput adores to suck on. Still mention the more punk/ postpunk approach here in some other tracks. How's that for nuances? X



Also love the rates distribution here. It's up to you! Pick a side! Definitely not as good as a 5, def not average or below work either. Curiously very few 3.5s.

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
February 10th 2021


7261 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

@DDD I mean suuure you could say that, but to me the excursions into hiphop beats/chiptune/weird surf rock circa classic punk rhythms just feels soooo underdeveloped. Like they came out of their comfort zone and didn't take the time to reeaaally grapple with the influences that they were seeking to incorporate into their sound. Comparing the beats scattered across this to the type of stuff Flying Lotus and Madlib have produced is slightly bonkers to me.

Gyromania
February 10th 2021


33442 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

N

DDDeftoneDDD
February 10th 2021


19621 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

I'm not big on Flying Lotus but I also think the work a bit sketchy/ or perhaps scattered. The comparison is prob bc of that.



Back to this, I get it can be an easy mock, but also don't see why all the hate. In fact tracks like The Trimjtle Sanction, Valkyrie or Hypogelum (to name a few) have something cool/awesome to offer imo.

Gyromania
February 10th 2021


33442 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

it's just messy and not very enjoyable to listen to

DDDeftoneDDD
February 10th 2021


19621 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

Press ESC

AsleepInTheBack
Staff Reviewer
February 10th 2021


7261 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

CTRL-ALT-WATCH-OUT-FOR-THE-GATOR-BATS

DDDeftoneDDD
February 10th 2021


19621 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0 | Sound Off

THE PORTALS UHUHUAAHAHAHAH

JohnnyoftheWell
Staff Reviewer
February 10th 2021


44231 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

definitely the flying lotus of basement bitmetal

Digging: Astrobrite - Pinkshinyultrablast

Cormano
February 10th 2021


3089 Comments


not sure yet wheter this is p good or straight up sucks ass

these dudes were quite good at the screamo thing so I've no clue why they took this route



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