Album Review: GOD COMPLEX by Mid Life Krysis

Art by Tamar Donnelly, logo by Mike Daniel

To my great discovery I had the chance to hear a new out there and fresh from experiment album called ‘God Complex’, it has a very simple and artful cover of three cross shapes in a black and white colour, the image bent my head a little and even looked somewhat comical.
This album is the eighth brain child of Steven Vickers who performs as the prolific ‘Mid Life Krysis’ it is a high energy, somewhat of a masterpiece, of learned and condensed musical journeying joining a long held tradition with a short hand of prose.

His act is centred around free and well written rapid forms of vocals. His style is to rouse and his descriptive powers make the discovery of this album a rewarding one. ‘Mid Life Krysis’ 8th album shows a journey of hits and parades of success and gut wrenching failure. He writes and performs as a one man act, though his fusions of a good few styles come together, rapping and singing, beat bopping and cajoling, many elements to form a unique style.

He carefully and with face to face subtly eases us in with many twists of lyrical and musical flow. Offering out ethical triumph from a world made brave from wisdom and as loud as techno (though a deeper kind). We dive into a message that grew in all ways toward thoughtfulness of clarity but in the guise of a madman in your ear.

He has picked a plight of showman to gather his thought and music to make points and in his lyrics we find this close appeal even as he brings it all crashing in. We get a look inside a scene that finds modernism, but comes with honesty. Backed by lavishly dressed ovation’s that his sounds strike out with. It is material in possession of and in a beginning of powerlessness to introduce this fiery, joyfully vivid album.

I met Steven on a boat to Arran about a couple of years ago, we where there a few days and I found myself in a house with maybe 8 or 9 of us there bopping to his ‘Mid Life Krysis’ material. He was warming up for a gig back on the mainland. It was a joy to meet him and his music had great appeal.

‘God Complex’ (released Feb 10) is the coming out of a chrysalis, mixed with superfluous talents, great skill and even a purpose. He lays a path from song to song for us to track the graduating yet easy sending of an epic playlist of good original music.

He places his tones by blasting through noise into well thought out tirade’s of those voracious lyrically speeded up creations, not least his ability to switch you off.

I have poured through his wonderfully large, outlandish and feverishly fresh lyrics, written to ever give a cause to his proceedings. I was happy to energetically expand while emotionally shrinking, in music that offered a style of things. Was this an ability to reach for the subconscious in each song and come out till making sense, with a kind of abruptness!

A sense of the spontaneous, challenge arrived, almost a confrontation that he has come to thrive in. Songs deliberated in this style that have come from genuine experience he lights his fire, creates chaos but still loves what he is doing which is to theme songs as a crazy professor. But he finds sensitivity, charm and vulnerability.

For the posterity of sharing this deliciously powerful, unequivocal recording I will showcase a few lines and leave them without comment from me. The very first line in the very first song called ‘The Satanic Bars’ this is how he starts it off:

The wrath of God gave plenty of fodder,
To homicidal despots unleashing their brand of horror,
On an unsuspecting populace,
The power of the prophets is often monstrous,
Of course it is

Ok, so we’re in the pace now, things are in a flow, straight to the point, the emanating idea starts to form, with questions not yet answered. The piloting title of this new album ‘God Complex’ has of course a number of possible meanings all of which are hinted at during the album. The goal must have been of a story with a big heart that cleverly seeks to disrupt.

His fresh seeking genre has a wonderful quality of psychology that seems to ride in the songs and story; that gives it another emotional appeal for the journey he is trying to navigate.

There is fine art behind this lad from Leith’s expansively musical concoctions, subject of all kinds, and gregarious tides. His hit comes frequently, as he transforms the meaning of his poetry, fusing with the theme in a turn, sowing seeds of the ‘God Complex’ into a metamorphosis from pain and metal into a lovingly creative hope for things yet to come.

For the entire album he is far from home yet never lost, I recall a ‘Krysis’ gig in Glasgow’s Room 2 where he broke a cherry as a hard core definitive act with words I could only just decode, obviously words to pick a fight. His signature has changed for me into the blossoming of any and every kind of life, music booms with electricity, sound approval and dichotomy.

So here’s my second and final quote from Mid Life Krysis new and strong album, I will select it from the 8th track ‘The Religion of we’:

In the singing of a pretty bird sat out upon a fence,
The smell of flowers almost makes me know what Jesus meant,
When he said to love your brother that cannot be wrong,
With God at my side maybe I was perfect all along.

Predominantly a rap show, a one man condensation, where the possible’s are his aims to cram as many words in the least amount of time, manic and centred and happy to share the creative process, as I heard melodies that weren’t really there.

The 12-track album sits very nicely as an incredibly strong and well positioned musical tirade that has a great, complete examination of the modern world, behaviour and what not. Having eight albums alludes to his marked success; that may break with this one. He plays around with everything he can get his hands on, his skills are now fluid. A heartfelt wish to create an unease, with a message of reprieve, his vocal jaunt with the heat of a dragonfly.

Heavy thought, hard light, enjoyable, immersive, poetry and music well in hand. A vocal reference in the ‘God Complex’ is it his? Does it belong to the world? Or is it a question of truth? Joyfully holding up a powerful and thorough musical (like fused dynamite) reflection; rapidly construing success in an all round purpose of creative recording both modern and wise, a multi facetted mask to a remarkable album.

Reviewer: Daniel Donnelly


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