Mediocrity, Faeries and Pure Noise
We still don’t like Brand New; Joanna Newsom takes us to fairyland, The New Flesh usher in a noisy apocalypse
I have a confession. I still don’t like them much. The foursome appear plenty talented, and for moments at a time, they seem almost worthy of the “American Radiohead” comparison made by some over-exuberant fan. There are brief glimpses of a band able to string together a song that is emotionally affecting, masterful, and mature. Those seconds are rare, however, and are quickly replaced by whole minutes of empty emo-cliché wailing and whining. The album as a whole sounds coarse, generic, and, hate to say it, much like my high school self suspected it might.
Sleep through the rest of my days , she sings on “Cosmia.” Seven suns. Seven suns. Away! A-way! It would be the perfect music to complement the bombing of London during WWII, or the destruction of Earth in a Sci-Fi flick. At times, the fables that Newsom weaves are turgidly drawn, too heavily injected with her own cosmic mythopoeia to have any linear meaning. We’ve heard it called Renaissance Fair pastiche, but that’s unfair. It’s bigger, almost prophetic. But prophetic of what? Who knows? Just let it happen.
The New Flesh
Vessel is a failed attempt to subdue chaos. You’ll only hear fetid torture of psychedelic sounds, beaten to death by a trio of nihilists. Nothing rules when Jason Donnells, Dan Propert and Rick Weaver jack in and kick the snot out of the last hundred years of music history. They play with the compassion of a horde of Huns, burning the Roman countryside. Yeah, we dig it. Emancipate the dissonance!