Fischerspooner: #1

(I hate that cover art so bad.  The glistening, uneven stubble and the dry, cracking hair behind it disturb me.  Not the tongue, that’s fine.  It’s the follicular product.)

This is the first review of about 15 CDs that I bought in a neighbor’s garage for $1.  I don’t think I was as picky as I should have been.

That might not be completely fair.  This is pretty good.  It’s just that there’s nothing even close to the song that inspired me to buy it in the first place, “The Best Revenge,” which I reviewed in that 80-song iTunesU playlist I got for free.  And while it’s good, is it good enough to justify owning the physical version, jewel case and all?  Probably not.  But now I’m stuck with it, and don’t even try to suggest that I’m not, because Does. Not. Compute.

Anyway, apparently this is in the genre electroclash.  And according to Wikipedia, that completely non-descriptive term means that it’s dance music but like a song instead of just beats and sounds.  Meaning that it has song-like structure with a beginning, build, end, verses, chorus, etc.

And, yeah, that’s pretty much what you get here.  And Fischerspooner pay a lot of attention to the details, which is nice.  But it still ends up being a little too much like dance music where there’s just too much time where you’re stuck in a groove that might have been interesting for 20 seconds but isn’t for two minutes.  In short, there’s quite a bit of fat to cut from this album.  (Another similarity this has to straight-up dance music is that it’s better loud than not.)

But the meat’s good.  The slower tracks, like “15th Day” and “Tone Poem,” are the best here.  My hypothesis is that, since the songs are about the same length as the faster ones, and since the transition times between sections is about the same, that the parts get repeated fewer times in the same amount of time if they’re slower, preventing you from getting to bored before something switches up or ends.

I think one of the lessons here is that this is a genre appreciated in doses smaller than albums.  I don’t think that’s a surprise, either.  I don’t think anybody actually listens to this stuff start to finish in album form, even electroclash.  It’s just that that’s how I listen to everything, not having figured out a way to integrate different listening methods into my routine(s).  So there’s a disconnect for me.

Keep: “15th Day,” “Tone Poem,” “Turn On”
Like: “Sweetness,” “Emerge,” “L.A. Song,” “Horizon,” “Invisible,” “Ersatz,” “Megacolon”

  1. Sweetness – First impressions are pretty happy with this.
  2. 15th Day – Very good.
  3. Emerge – Starting to get kinda meh here.  This is too repetitive.  Apparently this was the hit, but that female vocal chorus line drives me nuts.
  4. L.A. Song – As an example of the low dosages needed, this is nice, fun, etc., but even just four songs in I am completely tired of it.  “Star above me/It’s fine”.  Pretty good, just too repetitive.  More a fault of the genre than these guys.
  5. Tone Poem – So far the two best songs have been slow ones.  I guess if your strengths are soundscapes and your weakness is being too repetitive, then it makes sense that if you get through less rhythm in the same amount of time you’ve made things better.  This is one of those perfect late night driving songs.
  6. Horizon – Not bad, but not a lot going on.  Starts off pretty noodly.  The last track slowed things down really nicely but here it seems like he might be veering off.  It has its moments, but it’s pretty boring/forgettable for the most part.
  7. Invisible – I have this as like or keep?  It’s definitely not keep.  So I’ll say like, but I’m really not into this.  The instrumental intro is really cool, in terms of both rhythms and timbres.
  8. Turn On – This might not get kept on a stronger album.  It’s quite good, but it’s also got that it’s surrounded by quite a bit of weakness working in its favor.
  9. !@*$%# –
  10. Natural Disaster –
  11. Ersatz –
  12. Megacolon – This one grew on me.  Cool sexy lyrics sung/rapped by female.
  13. Emerge (Junkie XL Remix) –

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