Like Psychic TV before them, Crack Cloud have a philosophy, and one that they are not afraid to wear on their sleeves. While their anarchic, phantas- magorical visuals, heavy use of symbology, and seemingly never-ending cast of colourful collaborators have often invited cult comparisons, this really does the collective no justice.
There is no apocalyptic death drive here; no cult of personality; no hierarchy of power. While frontman and lyricist Zach Choy is in many ways the face of the group, the collective is one founded on equality, and in his cryptic lyrical blend- ing of poetics, polemics and personal experience, Choy is truly the mouthpiece of something far larger than himself. Nowhere else is this more apparent than on the album’s first single, ‘The Next Fix.’
What begins as a caustic, claustrophobic account of addiction swells into a sprawling, euphoric hymn as Choy is joined by a choir of seemingly endless ce- lestial voices. Less a cult then; more a church. Listening to this song or watching its accompanying self-directed video is a truly spiritual experience, and in its building, jubilant movement it offers a glimpse of Crack Cloud’s most vital mes- sage: using community to turn adversity into hope. This isn’t just bravado; its a story born of deep, personal experience. Crack Cloud operate on the frontline of Canada’s out-of-control opiate crisis, mobilising and organizing in Vancouver’s harm reduction programmes.
The group themselves have had their fair share of trauma, and the collective offers its members a vital vehicle for rehabilitation and recovery. As the tagline on the album’s back cover makes clear then, this is absolutely ‘based on true shit'.