Futuristic funk rock performed in Real-Time

by Beacon Staff • April 11, 2007

For anyone who avoids the deafening habit of catching local rock groups, the Campaign For Real-Time is one of the most innovative new acts to rise from the college slums of Allston in years.,Intricate postmodern lyrics, duel-synthesizer laden albums and balls-to-the-walls stage antics are just a few of the characteristics that ease the rough task of articulating the Campaign For Real-Time (C4RT) experience.

For anyone who avoids the deafening habit of catching local rock groups, the Campaign For Real-Time is one of the most innovative new acts to rise from the college slums of Allston in years.

Or are they?

Having supposedly traveled back in time from the year 2219, C4RT claims to be a band from the future that is currently playing covers by bands that don't exist yet. As much of a gimmick as this may be, the group's sound can be incredibly convincing.

Cross-pollinating a range of influences from Prince, the Mahavishnu Orchestra, Depeche Mode and The Streets, the Campaign For Real Time has developed an unmistakably unique.

Following a performance at Great Scott celebrating the release of the band's second LP, Let It Rise, the Campaign's bassist, Falconer Model 7, told The Beacon C4RT's sound is best described as "electro-hip-hop-rb-dance/rock."

As if that hybrid of genres wasn't overwhelming enough, Lee "Big Game" Bronson, one of the group's vocalists/synth players, made a point that a C4RT live show can "get a little Rocky Horror at times, but its also a bit Rocky Balboa."

The sextet of supposed time-travelers takes an intensive approach to live shows, utilizing stage props, light shows and interactive stage antics. However, the formula behind its growing success doesn't stop there.

A consistency throughout C4RT's music is a semi-obsession with pop culture giving their music the retro-yet-modern touch of a Tarantino film.

One of the songs off the band's first album, Yes ... I Mean, No, is titled "Don Cheadle," even though the lyrical content of the song was not remotely related to the actor.

C4RT built on its utilization of cultural relevance by analyzing the world around them through the guise of lyrics that many listeners may flat out reject as nonsense. On Let It Rise's opening track, "Song for New Amsterdam," Bronson paints a picture of the world around him through the eyes of a man struggling to make sense of the 21st century.

He walks his listener through a vivid landscape where you can "search for redemption, and settle for cell phone reception."

Rory Stark, the guitarist and vocal sidekick for C4RT, told The Beacon "if you listen to ["Song for New Amsterdam"], it just comes off as some guy babbling on, but if you closely listen to it, there's some amazing fucking content in there. It's not always about a melody [with us]."

The members of C4RT do not like talking about their past projects and background. When asked about Garrison, the previous band of Ed McNamara (i.e. Rory Stark), the two singers dove into a dialogue of metaphysical mumbo jumbo as a means of avoiding an honest answer. They managed, however, to expose a good deal of insight into the group's multi-layered philosophies, whether they meant to or not.

"Our mission statement is that all of our songs are fucking hits," Stark said. "We deal with ideas of 'what is the present, what does it mean to be present."

Bronson then built upon those themes by adding the issues of "memory, hope, loss and regret."

This may have been a means of avoiding a truthful answer regarding his hopes for the band.

"You shouldn't worry that your life is going to end. he said. "You should be worried that your life isn't going to begin."

What Bronson didn't seem to realize at the time was this half-joking statement provided a greater insight into the dynamics of the Campaign For Real-Time than he may or may not know.

Through all of the humorous nonsense that the group's members like to project, a significant degree of analytical depth is at the core of it all.

C4RT deliver a hot dose of existential literary intricacy in addition to an intensive instrumental prowess that has been a solid formula for growing success. The biggest question the band faces is whether or not it will receive the exposure needed to reach the masses. The answer to that question remains uncertain.

With a sound denying boundaries and a live show that owns a place in every audience member's memory, C4RT can rest assured that with or without mainstream recognition, it's going to be seen as a group to be reckoned with.