Friday, April 04, 2008

A Faulty Chromosome, As An Ex-Anorexic's Six Sicks Exit,... (Album Review)

No, I didn't mistype the name of the album, but I'm not going to attempt to say it out loud because then I will accidentally spit all over my computer, and I don't want that. I will, however, continue to listen to this album. It features my favorite components of "indie rock": loud, thrashing guitars that march through each song, hastily encouraging the other instruments to follow in its wake of confusion, hazy vocals that never quite punch through the gauze of the overlaying instruments and non-formulaic structures and melodies that play with rhythm, such as the continuous staccato call of "...what do you want?" in the chorus of "Want" . "Them pleasures of the flesh", particularly, uses electronic blips and bleeps and a heralding guitar call to ratchet up a frenzied sonic energy reminiscent of the magnificent Clap Your Hands and Say Yeah's debut album.

The lyrics are arranged in unexpected and often clever ways: in "Frozen Lake", the singer tells the person that their words have become nothing more than "phonetics floating in [his] ears". The same lyrical ingenuity can veer a little bit to the precious: in the same song he says that the person's pleas for forgiveness are insincere "regardless of soakings in spurious tears". I'm all for objectification of a complex emotional reaction, but soaking it in tears might've taken it a little too much to the emo side for me. A little bit of lyrical over-stretching is part of the deal, though, when you have a songwriter so clever with wordplay. He immediately impresses me again with the line comparing trust that was once warm to "a frozen lake" and informing the person that his/her attempts to reflame the trust--the "bonfires"-- are a big mistake.

The songs cascade through the album, drenching the listener in a sonic wash of electronics, with vocals that float over the songs, disembodied from the music but complimenting it also, in the way his voice matches the tone of the music so well. This is a solid release with no lackluster moments to drag it down; an album you can either consciously appreciate or listen to while drifting off to a sleep filled with very surreal, very atmospheric dreams.

Garage Band
Thank you to Fanatic for the CD to review

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