[Reviewed by Peter Marks]
There’s little information about the reasoning behind this album, it showed up in my inbox unannounced last week and curious fellow that I am, I investigated. Well there’s something to this, more than mere experimentalism or list-detail lyrics. This is a guy who reads from Naked Lunch and puts it up on his site to download gratis. Consider the world-view of a person who would do this; surrealism is the name of the game in what he jots down and then mashes into musical arrangements you aren’t even ready for. What is it with that tiny island that brings out this kind of work? The rain, perhaps? The drudgery of doing the daily? Ringtones from mobile phones which place in the charts… you see, now he’s got me doing this.
“Antimacassar” is chocked full of atmospheres and observations on the human condition which will haunt you long after this irritatingly short record has concluded. Most of what’s on here tops out at no more than two and a half minutes in length, although there are a few exceptions. I’d be very interested to know where he got some of the voices on this from, in particular the old men who on one hand obsess over death and on the other wistfully remark ‘it come when it’s ready’.
When you’re gone, you’re gone yes? Dolly Dolly deliver soliloquies on sickening themselves drinking the rain, naturalist observations which curl in upon themselves, terrible news (well isn’t it all) and an autopsy procedural guide. I’d almost go so far as to say the music on this album is incidental, that it grew up around his words like bitterly tenacious ivy. A vaguely familiar girl’s sing song is combined with nicely nautical backing accompaniment, it is then swept out of the way to allow our poet’s observations full range to expound on just how sinister these pastoral settings actually are. He sees things in his writings I certainly wouldn’t.
How he plays around with how his own voice is recorded really is a pleasure to immerse myself in, Dolly Dolly never come straight at you. He’s your best friend and analytical clinician at the same time. The effects he trots out are dynamic to say the least, I wonder how much Vincent Price he’s channeling for some of the more dramatic moments I’ve fallen into while listening to an album who’s names meaning is as in-congruent with the subject matter as the subject matter itself is to anything or anyone outside of his head. These are the thoughts. This is the album. You have your marching orders now. I’ll leave the defining of what style this is to the professional press because I don’t have a clue as to what it is.
Reason enough to partake of this arcane delicacy. Enjoy the vim.