With a full baker's dozen's worth of musicians listed, the debut album by the U.K.'s Crippled Black Phoenix is part of the whole post-Broken Social Scene concept of band as endlessly mutating collective, but A Love of Shared Disasters is considerably more mutant than most. The driving force behind the band is Justin Greaves, former drummer for sludgy art-stoner metal acts Iron Monkey and Electric Wizard, but the heaviness sporadically on display here owes more to Mogwai (whose bassist Dominic Aitchison is a key participant) and Godspeed You Black Emperor!, an obvious touchstone for the epic centerpiece "Long Cold Summer." Elsewhere, there are twisted fragments of Neutral Milk Hotel's lo-fi emo-psych, traditional British folk-rock in the Steeleye Span mold (complete with harmonium parts straight out of the Shirley & Dolly Collins songbook), tunes reminiscent of old sea shanties warped within an inch of their life (see the opening "The Lament of the Nithered Mercenary" and the vintage Fairport Convention gone doom metal feel of "The Northern Cobbler"), and unexpected hits of straight-up Sigur Rós ethereality. It shouldn't make a bit of sense, and it doesn't in any sort of logical way, but there's an underlying vision to A Love of Shared Disasters, a cracked singularity that keeps it from being just a random bunch of acid-fried weird ideas glued together higgledy piggledy.
AllMusic Review by Stewart Mason