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  • Writer's pictureMario

The Lobby | WEEKLY REPORT, 2/18/2023

Since I didn’t quite know what album to toss into this undesirable spotlight affectionately known as my words, I may as well throw each and every one of them into the fray to varying levels of care, attention, and memory. Some of them may have a couple of sentences written about them, some of them may have their own little universe of review to fiddle with. Depends on how I feel, I suppose. I’ll occasionally even have fun here and there, which may sound like a newfangled idea at first, but it’s all about how I go about these silly opinionated synopses. And if this ain’t that many albums, I agree. I was busy. These are very rough and improvisational writings, so expect them to not be… great, to say the least.


The White Stripes - White Blood Cells (2002, Sympathy for the Record Industry)

We all know who the ‘60s Meg White was, the great Maureen Tucker (I’m questioning my habit of comparing musicians, don’t worry. I’ll grow out of it someday.). Thing is, Tucker more often than not had an irresponsible and inimitable pulsating primitivism that set her apart from the likely peers of psych-rock percussionists in the best way. It’s arresting. Meg (their last names are both White so I’ll just use first names), on the other hand, wasn’t always that emotionally effective in her more unpolished and improper drumming. Matter of thought, it’s simply more visible in this third album of theirs rather than effective in getting to that guttural reptilian brain corner we’ve all got for decent music.

Occasionally, this drumming can serve as sufficiently disorienting as provided by Aluminum, but it doesn’t seem like a lot of these songs care about serving any fancy-shmancy sophisticated structuring. That’s fine, no worries. Perhaps each song being sufficient in terms of emotional resonance and laying those thoughts and feelings of yours upside down as if they’ve constructed a hanging garden only for your brain’s humiliation. But it just doesn’t do much for me in that regard.

Want proof? I don’t even remember a terrible amount of the album outside from a fleeting abstract sonic scenery I can recollect: two subpar yet kindred pseudo-rebels composing the utmost simpleton-slathered supersonic ditty in a place where time has no meaning because they don’t really care about staying in time all that much anyway. A place where musty garage walls and ugly yellow lighting give them an even more unflattering look than their newly awakened selves in the morning. They both weren’t terribly interesting at their job, let alone great at it.

Jack’s voice is sufficiently profane, but rather to the whims of middling production choices and compositional plateaus. The guitar remained equally as primitive on multiple occasions, if not most. Who cares if the music is so simple anyway? The Ramones sure didn’t back in the mid ‘70s. Or at least, that’s what their music presented. Never got much out of it anyways, but my brain’s efforts would only be futile in braining things out like a brain does. Why did I write this again?

Rating: 6/10.

Trajectory of listens past the first: neutral.

Daniel Land & the Modern Painters - Love Songs for the Chemical Generation (2009, Saint Cecilia)

God, I forgot even less of this album. Perhaps there were pleasant textures here, but the sheer luminosity of the sunbeam this album sheens upon its songs drowns out the compositions in a method that transforms the 70 minutes of runtime into a grand backfire. This is the kind of dream-pop that emulates the most common kind of dream: the kind of dream you’ll forget about seconds after waking up from whatever world it provided. A lot of it qualified as pleasant, mind you. It’s just that it forgot to bring any trace of adhesion to the psyche, to land emotional blows anything more than fleeting.

I’d laugh sheepishly at any request to remember a single passage from this album because goodness, I’m prone to bursts of early on-set dementia thanks to these substandard shoegazings. This likely could have been provided a full review, but the main issue is that I’m unsure if I’ll be able to jot down what has already left my brain ten seconds after hearing it. Would this qualify as sleeping music for people who sincerely use the term “butter my muffin”? I’ve complained so much about the forgetability, and I’m trying to write about any other contents of the album but… what do you think is hindering that?

Score: 6/10.

Trajectory of listens past the first: Depends on how well I sleep.

Young Fathers - Tape One (2011)

This would be the breakout EP from the Young Fathers, one of the more eclectic route takers of their cradle of more abstract hip-hop. This “tape” revels in one particular aspect: its method of hiding its more serious supposed enlightenments and subtexts within the disorientation and disjointed compositions, brought even more surrealist blight through the lack of high-fidelity recording qualities. A generous amount of this tape uses that to positive results, although this debut tends to find itself dragging along the floor it constructed with its own hands. These performances and compositions were to be improved upon eventually.

Score: 6/10.

Trajectory of listens past the first: neutral.

Arca - Stretch 2 (2012, UNO)

The genre that the Young Fathers mildly scratched, Arca eventually desecrated into a brand new shrine of pseudo-collages. Here, similar grounds are bent upside-down to be redefined and grains sown into them with a paralytic deconstruction you can expect only from an artist that either is similar to Arca, or is Arca herself. It’s like a commotion of future technologies being smashed into one asinine plethora that stretches the borders between science and magic out of our understanding. All of that wonky glitch-hop contagion gets strapped in and ready to be melted into skeletal formations.

Arca’s voice here, however, helps the commotion very little. Perhaps it’s too much of a hubbub of normalcy. If this EP were to become instrumental and speak for itself, what would come of it? Perhaps it would come off as scraps of something unfinished.

Perhaps her voice was something needed to hold this crumpled up futuristic atrocity together, despite being the scotch tape that it is. At least it’s not a worse kind of tape, like any of that see-through tape that sticks things together like a nude cake at a royal wedding. Thanks, Arca. Examples of brutalized avant-death-rattles like these showcase just how promising her career was back then. Wait, scotch is a brand?

Score: 7/10.

Trajectory of listens past the first: positive.

Soulsavers - Broken (2009, V2)

Mark Lanegan, Mike Patton, Gibby Haynes, Richard Warren, and all these other fellas? What kind of ‘90s residue superband is this? Well, I suppose that’s just for this one album, given Machin and Glover tagged a few other musicians onto their works in this band from the start to the present. Through these alt-rock explorations (some parts dabbling, oddly enough, in a more cabaret and slowcore than originally prescribed), you get the sense of one thing: they do pretty decently for their job.

The songwriting here is very much competent and sound, a proper reverberation, as if this band was influenced by many musicians in the same lane but figured they were all probably the same person anyway. It’s solid and properly built, but in the way you’d expect an increasingly forgotten 65-minute indie voyage to be properly built. None of the instrument work particularly shows off or stands out, they more or less fit into the moulds they needed to crawl into for the songs to work their magic. Not mysterious, enigmatic here-since-the-beginning-of-the-universe magic, rather that quarter right behind your ear right now. If you actually checked your ear, I don’t know what to make of that.

Voices here phase in and out, very much distinct, more welcome than anything. The optimal way to listen to this? Wait, let’s have some fun here. How about I use a thesaurus on as much of these words as I can and we’ll see what abomination is churned out? Don’t worry, let’s have some fun, let’s do this. And I say:

Blotch Lanegan, Loudspeaker Patton, Gibby Haynes, Rooster Warren, and taking into account these contradistinctive back-scratchers? What category of ‘90s detritus clique is this? Well, I predicate that’s no more than for this particular record, provided Machin and Glover educed a sprinkling of supplementary entertainers out upon their works in this coterie from the embarkation to the nonce. By the agency of these alt-rock scrutinies (some allotments dilly-dallying, inexplicably enough, in an aggrandized cabaret and slowcore than primitively recommended), you snag the kinesthesia of one corporeality: they undertake somewhat sufficiently for their handicraft. (Still with me?)

The composing attendant is decidedly au fait and in the pink, a befitting consequence, as if this gathering was inveigled by an umpteen instrumentalists in a tantamount thoroughfare but reckoned they were all plausibly identical mortals in any case. It’s consolidated and accordingly manufactured (maybe that was the right word for it!), but in the avenue you’d envisage a progressively abandoned 65-minute indie junket to be accordingly manufactured. Not a bit of the paraphernalia drudgery explicitly showboats off or holds out, they just about interlock in the administration of the rough-hews they were required to lollygag into for the canticles to knead their legerdemain. Not inscrutable, sphinxlike hither-subsequent-to-the-genesis-of-the-macrocosm prestidigitation, alternatively that two-bits mintage right at the posterior of your ear. If you verily investigated your ear, I don’t recognize what to compound of that.

Carolers here loom from side to side, dreadfully sequestered, more esteemed than anything at all. The capital habitude to auscultate to this? To realize this ain’t going anywhere.

Score: 6.5/10.

Trajectory of listens past the first: neutral.

Kauan - Kuu.. (2011, Avantgarde Music)

There was a lot of promise with this one. It portrayed a rather picturesque melancholy through a significant portion of the album, but there existed numerous factors to hold it back with a dictator’s grip. For being 46 minutes, it goes by quite quickly, which shows a great sense of pacing, despite sometimes being at the expense of memorability. Unfortunately, a lot of the vocals are too loud when compared to the rest of the instrumentations and a good amount of melody work near the end just decay into being a collage of cheesiness that further shows the negative connotations people have with post-rock.

A lot of post-rock is texturally and conceptually inexorable, bigger than even the imaginations of those who collaborate to construct it, the closest rock music has to a series of towers of Babel, whether as concrete monoliths or skeletons of air. This is more or less one of those tall radio masts that can maybe break through the clouds, planting itself the occasional regurgitation.

Score: 6/10.

Trajectory of listens past the first: neutral.

Blut aus Nord - 777 - Cosmosophy (2012, Debemur Morti)

Even if there’s the occasional dud moment within this whole avant-black-metal fever, it remains pulling itself together and tying its damn shoes the right way: with a welding torch. This is an album best captured as an album, not in the slightest bit an experience of separated songs. This completes the pathway of epitomes carved within the band’s 777 series, their own multi-installment epic, in perhaps a fashion that could warrant a little less hush.

Obviously a labour of love, it has one flaw in common with a supercar that happens to be slow: give it more power. In this case, more emphasis, more of a proper sway in the production, a regolithic heave and ho. Let it sway and collide with moons in a manner akin to a haywire cosmic pendulum. The 15th epitome in particular has the biggest slip in the album, a rather faulty industrial-metal plating. It only gives the following epitomes more steam by letting the previous steams evaporate. The melodramas provided within this experience speak plenty enough: couldn’t it be just a pinch heavier? This already provides quite a satisfying experience, especially throw the continuities proven in the final three songs, but if the production let this music really bellow its black-metal bowels, it could have carried enough weight to punch against the greats of the genre.

Score: 7/10.

Trajectory of listens past the first: neutral.


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