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[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

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 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

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 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

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
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Frankenixon
Amorphous
Bi-Fi Records

Rating: 7/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Frankenixon's Amorphous is very suitably titled. Their piano-laden free verse both flirts with and hides from any form or conventional shape; however, it is always communicates clearly. Evelyn Finch's vocals are at times subdued or shattered as she sings about love, the trashing of art in its buying and selling, and the death of her mother (addressed on both the liner notes and the heart-breaking, but hopeful, "Due Process").

Where Frankenixon would be very apt to stumble, they don't. They forge ahead with a clear vision and direction. "Word To Confuse," which almost reaches the seven-minute mark, avoids stagnancy with its warbling piano and eruptions from its slow, quiet stirring. It slowly builds; changing pace, direction and subject matter, impressively remaining cohesive. Finch's husky yet feminine voice and her divergent piano-playing has drawn comparisons to Cat Power and Mates of State; however, I think she is much more in line with Fiona Apple circa When The Pawn with her shifting tones and moody vocals. There is a wonderful clarity in the production, keeping her voice pronounced and in the foreground, as well as the other instruments (piano, drums, guitar) separate and unblemished.

On "Loathing," the formless picking-up and dropping of drumbeats merges into a more conventional piano-drum interplay with a solitary fuzzy guitar in the background. And, on the Kubrickian "Neurotic/Cynical #1," the instruments and vocals slowly build to their breaking point, and then completely run past it, transforming into a free-moving chaos. For much of the album, Frankenixon add to, and subtract from, this formula. When a spooky tale is told on some tracks ("On The Clock"), the tempo is tightened and emptied to echo more tangible pop musings ("Due Process").

The latter portion of the album unravels into more pressingly instrumental compositions beginning with the solely acoustic "I Have No Idea." The unconventional, but not jarring, ending songs continue to show the carefulness with which Frankenixon, unrestrained, construct their songs. Amorphous, their second full-length, following 2002's Depth Perception, is challenging music, but easy to listen to. The songs are carefully assembled and taken apart, with each instrument knowing its place - allowing Finch's vocals and piano to take center stage, but not overpower their entire sound.

Reviewed by Abbie Amadio
The last we heard Abbie Amadio, a former contributor to LAS, was based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

See other reviews by Abbie Amadio

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