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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
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Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
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The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
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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
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Fat Possum
Volta Do Mar + Murder By Death
Konrad Friedrich Wilhelm Zimmer
Arborvitae Records

Rating: NR/10 ?

October 1, 2004
This split album from Volta Do Mar and Murder By Death has so much going on that it's almost impossible to take it all in. Apparently this release came to be because each of these bands had some songs lying around that for one reason or another had not been released, and so they thought it would be nice to come together and let us hear them all at once. I am as sincere as I can possibly be when I say, How nice of them. What the fuck are these people thinking? Not everybody in this album's intended audience is one of these musicians who takes long and leisurely walks up the path of melody meets madness every fucking day, so you would think these collective guys and a girl could keep some segregation between their acts and give the rest of us a break.

If you're like me, it's going to take some effort to withstand these two badass bands as they take turns ripping you a new one for thirty-seven minutes and thirty-eight seconds straight. To explain, the format of this split-personality machine is one band on evens and the other on odds in a series of eight opposing tracks. The result is two distinct sounds masquerading as one because these bands compliment each other so well. However, as a result of these compliments, a person who may not be extremely familiar with the sound of these two bands might get confused the first few times through the album as I did. A number of the tracks completely stop and start back up again under a totally different structure and the listener might be tricked into thinking the change to the next track and the opposing band had just taken place when it really hadn't. Pay attention, these songs are well thought out and if you are not in tune with them it takes away from their wicked evil splendor.

Now, about that wicked evil splendor, I have a couple jealous issues to bring up which should make clear my frustration, especially to those who are musicians like myself.

First, it is a rare moment in music when a musician, let alone a band of musicians, can say something in lyrics one second and show you exactly what they were talking about in pure lyric-less music the next. After a stellar performance, Volta Do Mar ends their time on this CD in "Fall Out of Cars Fall Out of Night" singing a repeated verse of the words, "I fall out of moving cars" then, BOOM, enter into an all-out instruments-to-the-wall--we told you and now we're showing your ear drum--grand finale. This experience begins with the sensation of rolling around in a flowing bath of cymbals, guitar waves and the lyrics and then suddenly you hear/feel your ass getting tossed the fuck out the car door at about one hundred and ten miles an hour and you instantly discover what it's like to be smeared across the pavement at such a speed. I'd like to hear lots of bands (or myself) pull off such a spectacular feat, but let's face it, not everybody can be Volta Do Mar - they are freaks. P.S.-Watch out for the road rash in the ears, it feels damn good.

Secondly, Murder by Death has got to be one of the luckiest bands around right now because of their powerfully unique sound. Their rounded instrumentation, including drums, bass, guitar, the keys and the additional use of the strings and sampling along with well-done vocals and story-like lyrics, creates a combination I haven't heard a lot of. Due to all of this, I have turned green over all they have done on this record but I have to pinpoint everything down to "Canyon Inn, Room 16". Cello and bass harmonics are a badass way to start a song, and as the rest of the band fills in this song continues to get better and better until it climaxes and gently fades away. I'm a sucker for this sort of an approach lately so I guess they hit the spot. Still, why couldn't I have been in on it? Oh yeah, because I'm not Murder by Death either. Thanks for rubbing it in.

Reviewed by Mitchell Trux

See other reviews by Mitchell Trux



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