Musings on music, old, new, popular and obscure. Post punk, metal, hip-hop, funk, and rock in general. A music fan with a desire to lose boundaries on what should and should not be listened to writes about experience in music from a listener's perspective, hopefully unhindered by prior expectation.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Tiny Music...Songs from Various Record Shops VII -- Out Every Window the Snap of Envy and Greed

Tiny Music...a series of entries on recent and seemingly random purchases. Why I made them, and why, perhaps, you ought to do the same--or at least take up the methodology!
Part I              Part V
Part II            Part VI
Part III                       
 Part IV                        

I picked up GoGoGo Airheart's last album, Rats! Sing! Sing! a few weeks earlier and liked it enough that stumbling into this album made it a veritable no-brainer for pick up. There's some debate about the title--to many, it is just a nice eponymous/self-titled album, but others look at the reverse of the CD booklet and decide the album is actually titled Out Every Window the Snap of Envy and Greed which is certainly more engaging--and a good sight less confusing, as 2001 saw the release of a definitively self-titled album. That sometimes that album's cover art is exchanged with this one only exacerbates the problem. Throw in Wikipedia alleging three separate issues of a self-titled album, and only one of the three being a reissue and it becomes an absolute bloody mess. That the text of the article contradicts the list below does not help anything at all.

This album, though, is much weirder. It remains distinctly musical in a way I think most people can recognize (though people often surprise me on this front!), but is noticeably odd at the same time. Instrumentation is very much not consistently in the vein one expects out of any rock band: bass can dominate with guitars only adding the lightest of vaguely discordant or skronky accents for much of "Mutiny (...Remember When?)" for instance, under vocals recorded with the filter of (deliberately) fuzzy microphones over a dance-able beat that has plenty of hi-hat usage. There's a hint of "dance punk" to a lot of the material, with drums and bass forming the absolute backbone and core of all material and everything else only accenting it, rather than layering over it to form the distinct and more immediately accessed melodies. Hints of Krautrock in the Can-style also appear, albeit in much shorter, more contained songs.

None of this is complaint: the band was a part of the notion of reviving post-punk exemplified in many bands in the late 90s and early 2000s, in retrospect even if not at the time. Not nearly so funky as !!! were (though they shared a label at the time!), they're a lot more unusual and experimental and should be considered in much more of that vein, rather than the incredibly danceable nature of !!!

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