Cipher immediately lives up to its name thanks to its cryptic liner notes, written in, of course, cipher. While this is all well and good, it does kind of defeat the information-conveying purpose of liner notes. Once the track listing has been deciphered, it becomes obvious that there is a motif running through the album: four of the 15 songs are titled “An Introduction to the Power of Braces” with the respective subtitles “Arms”, “Legs”, “Teeth”, and “Faith”. The general theme of these songs is that oft-painful braces are used to straighten and strengthen physical bodies, so why not use them for spiritual bodies? It’s a good point, especially in these days of soft, easy faith.It’s not all fundamentalist fervor here; SCAC tackles Woody Guthrie with “This Land is Your Land Redux”. Like the original, “Redux” is a protest song, but with a violent twist Guthrie’s work never had. Slim Cessna also seems to be a graduate of the Sufjan Stevens School of Strange Song Titles: Cipher includes numbers such as, “All About the Bullfrog in 3 Verses” and “That Fierce Cow is Common Sense in a Country Dress”. Luckily, the lyrics are as interesting as the song titles, and a nice break from Slim Cessna’s street preaching. The strongest song of the record is “Children of the Lord”, a hard driving gospel song that could make a believer out of just about anyone. Hell, even if you’re not a believer, you just might find yourself tapping your foot and singing along to its catchy chorus.
Sorry about the rapidshit links.