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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Such Is The Way Of Things
Greyday Productions

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Historically, I've been adventurous as far as food combinations go because I have failed to see the big picture. I don't know what I was thinking, but I've had a Belgian waffle and a piece of halibut on the same breakfast plate. I soon learned that didn't work because flavors have to complement each other in order for food to taste good, and in the same way, the best albums sound great because all of the elements come together as a whole. Consafos' latest album, Such Is The Way Of Things is the equivalent of a smoothie consisting of M&M's, nacho cheese, and a splash of gin: Individually, the ingredients are great, but put together the outcome is gut-wrenching.

Far be it from me to decry the post-rock slant towards loose arrangements, but this CD makes it sound as if the members of Consafos don't even record in the same building. Stefanie Drootin's vocals are airy and sweet, but they go in too many directions. On the first song, "Billy's Porch," it is almost impossible to track down the chorus. I like Drootin's voice, but all of the songs have me wishing it was under more control. Likewise, the guitar and piano parts would sound fine by themselves, but they just don't fit together. I applaud the band for working in violins, harps and harmonicas, but the range of instruments doesn't make up for the lack of cohesion.

Although this baggy-fitting album would lend itself to wild, unintelligible lyrics, the words are the tightest part of the album. On "It's War (Mama)" Drootin croons about running from her fear: "I'm gonna bathe in laughter, gonna soak in sin/ gonna drown my problems and no one's gonna win." These lyrics look innocent enough on paper, but such concision conflicts with the unstructured sound of the song.

The one redeeming moment on Such Is The Way Of Things is hidden at the end of the last track, after 5 minutes of silence. Here, for the first time, there is a hint of repetition and the instruments actually work together. It is about 8 minutes of music that almost makes me reconsider my stance on the CD, but it's the exception, not the rule. I don't know how many times I passed over this part unknowingly, as I was usually in a hurry to listen to something else, but this extra song has no business being an unmarked hidden track.

Consafos has potential to be an interesting indie-act, but they need to learn that there is no "I" in team. If they worked together, thy might become a formidable force, but first they need to find a practice space big enough to fit all of the musicians. Oh, and I'm serious about the waffle/fish breakfast, but I don't recommend it.

Reviewed by Andy Brown
A regular contributor to LAS, Andy Brown lives in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, but doesn\'t think he has an accent.

See other reviews by Andy Brown



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