Gun-totin', Chronic-smokin' Hearse Initiator (ludickid) wrote,
Gun-totin', Chronic-smokin' Hearse Initiator
ludickid

Reviews By Twos, 08/02/09

For a record purported to be over eleven years in the making, Laneer Kachomber’s The Truth or Elsinore (Head of Gilligan) doesn’t feel like it. It feels more like an album thirty-three years in the making. The organist, singer, and former Helvetica Is For Children is an impenetrable concept album about an uprising of philosophically questioning vaginas dentata with a backstory so elaborate that he was forced to put the liner notes on his website to save on printing costs. Still, it’s to Kachomber’s credit that he managed to compress so much gaudy mythology into a 12-song album of simple power-pop tunes all less than five minutes long; the effect is something like listening to a compressed version of all four Coheed and Cambria records that have been freeze-dried and lightly seasoned. It seems cruel to call what is clearly a lifetime obsession for Kachomber a pleasant diversion; still, while the last track, “Further the Curse (A New Asshole Timely Ripped)” promises a sequel, you’ll find yourself wishing he rediscovers his passion for lengthy HIFC keyboard solos. **½

Meanwhile, the latest offering from that friendly little island in the sea, Japan, is Mono’s Hymn to the Immortal World (Temporary Residence). The narrative with most bands from album to album is usually one of progression and refinement, but Mono’s sound is so distinctive and its style so seamless that their progress must be measured in the subtlest of ways. Ordinarily, saying that it’s fiendishly difficult to tell the difference between one album and another would be meant as the deepest of insults to the band in question, but in Mono’s case, they manage to keep the variations between this and their (excellent) previous record, You Are There, to a minimum while making both an extremely worthwhile listening experience. Mono still scans as a post-rock band, but unlike most groups with that label, they don’t come across as terrified of their instruments, and are happy to throw screaming sheets of noise and great washes of blistered tone in with all the moody drones. It’s a testament to how well they’ve made this work for them that the addition of a chamber orchestra and more reliance than last time on traditional melodic structure doesn’t sink the ship of sound they’re piloting this time out. ****
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