Boy this sounds like The Book Of Knots. I spent a lot of time trying to find some way to link this to The Book Of Knots. I couldn’t. I think the main similarity is in the tonalities and the female vocalist. Who is not very good…she has a hard time singing on key. At first I thought that was an artistic choice, and maybe it is, but it came to bug me more and more as I listened to it. I think the album lost a full clown during the review period.
It’s still a pretty good listen. I bet it’s the most straight-forward thing Trevor Dunn (Trio Convulsant, Mr. Bungle, Fantômas) has ever done. There are plenty of twists and turns, especially harmonically and rhythmically. But it’s also accessible, darkly-tinged verse-chorus-verse guitar/bass/drums/vocals/sometimesKeys(?) rock. It’s like a goth-prog kinda thing, like a less weighty Type O Negative or a stripped down Rush. (“The Mute Number” has strong “YYZ” influences, especially at the beginning.) Also Björk-y in several places.
To tell you the truth, I’m getting a bit sick of this one, and so I’m kind of cranking out a review before it gets too old. Her voice just works against my enjoyment, and the album is better served by close listening than background. Not many bad songs, it just gets tiresome.
– “Rats With Wings,” “Dirty,” “As Sad As It Was Beautiful,” “All The Nerve Endings”
– “Thread,” “Absence & Noise,” “In Love (In Theory),” “Broke,” “Left With Nothing,” “Knowing,” “Art Of Denial,” “The Mute Number”
- Rats With Wings –
- Thread – I never notice this when it comes by. She is very off key here.
- Absence & Noise – Pretty good, but a bit boring.
- Dirty – Great start. Weird rhythmic stumble in song at time it also takes an unexpected harmonic twist.
- In Love (In Theory) –
- As Sad As It Was Beautiful –
- Broke –
- Left With Nothing – Very reminiscent of a Rick Springfield song. From what’s now probably his mid-career period. I love so much of this, but that part drives me nuts…I don’t think it’s a good RS song it reminds me of. It’s easily a full heart without that part.
- Knowing –
- The Mute Number – Starts like a Rush thing with those booming, intermittent chords. There’s another song early on on this album that’s like a mix of “YYZ” and Mr. Bungle’s “Violenza Domestica”. Drags too much mid song to be full heart.
- Art Of Denial –
- All The Nerve Endings – Very Björk.