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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
Desert Fathers
Three Spheres Music

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
The Desert Fathers have managed to release a debut record that is a beautifully fucked up sonic mish mash with a healthy dose of melody.

The sound on this Steve Albini and Greg Norman produced album often defies easy classification. This however is a good thing, and thus affirms that this effort is fresh and original. The task of naming comparable bands is difficult. However imagine: the experimentation of a group like Sonic Youth, mixed with the ethereal, abstract and sometimes fucked up melodies of My Bloody Valentine, and sometimes throw in the quirky although straightforward rock and roll of the Pixies. So to say that this is unusual (in a good way) might be a bit of an understatement.

The record starts off with "Agnus Dei", overlapping backwards played voices and ambient white noise in the background. The track calls to mind just what it might be like to go to Church on acid. It bows to the most straightforward and rock song on the disc, the choppy "A practical Joke". Although there certainly are no sing-alongs on this disc, and no overtly poppy songs, that doesn't make certain songs any less memorable. "The Art Of Reason" contains the strongest melody on the album, and will make your head bob in appreciation.

The Desert Fathers' debut is the result of 3 years and 7 recording studios, so it's ironic how cohesive the output is given the span of time and adversity present in the creation of the album. The songs flow into one another, a quality that gives the album as a whole more resonance than any individual track. The record is short and bizarre. So the experience of listening to this album even repeated times is confusion, disorientation, and ultimately delight.

The lyrics naturally continue along this theme of absurdity. While many are indecipherable, there are a few choice rants about monkeys and evolution, and falling through the sky. The liner notes as well, are riddled with nonsense and quasi-religious parables. The artwork as well is mighty cool, and looks like it might have been conceived on hallucinogens. The Desert Fathers have taken great steps to insure that their vision been realized not only in music and lyrics but also in packaging.

There will always be a place in rock for the weird, bizarre and the innovative. Fans of that type of music may have just found a new anthem.

Reviewed by Dan Williams
A staff writer based in Brooklyn, New York, Dan Williams is a frequent contributor to LAS magazine. He once lived in Köln, Germany for a semester, is currently persuing his MBA in New York, and recently switched sides and began working as a publicist for Special Ops Media in New York.

See other reviews by Dan Williams



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