the obscure album corner!
hi! i'm the guy whose name is to the left of this message!
i'll be off-and-on reviewing obscure, rare, or unheard albums that you most likely have never heard!
i'll also accept requests or suggestions to review since i do have other priorities, so help out all you can!
so without further adue... MY FIRST REVIEW!
"Signal Morning" by Circulatory System
this album was the latest commercial release by the band circulatory system, which is a 7 piece band directed by one of the creators of the elephant 6 recording co., Will Hart, who worked with Jeff Mangum of Neutral Milk Hotel on many side projects, live shows, and simply running the company. the band is considered psychadelic, but most refer to it as an "experimental indie" style.
ok, so this album is very odd on the surface. the cover looks like blocky cloud done by a brush on a piece of jean cloth, but something about it is very inviting. on entry to the album, "Woodpecker Greeting Worker Ant" is just as silly and rousing as you can possibly imaging, with no actual lyrics, and a cacophony of bouncy bass sounds accompanied by scratchy guitar bangings. it does NOT complement the rest of the album though, but it could be for a good reason that i explain later.
the next song sparks things up a little, with a sound reminiscent of a male-singing Jefferson airplane, though a little more calm and smooth. if you hadn't noticed, the song plays alot with different sounds to convey a sense of chaos while introducing you into the new "world". the song almost feels like many different songs all slapped together to make one introduction. the feeling you get from this song is quite triumphant, and it moves you from disorientation to a feeling of genuine progression.
the next couple songs all transition perfectly through "transmission" sounds and feedback from the cooling, smooth lyrical progressions. there are quite alot of points in these songs where the pulse is completely shifted in an instant, but it actually pulls you along for the bumpy ride quite nicely. a good example of this would be "round and round", and "this morning (we remembered everything)". the majority songs have riffs, lyrics, or progressions that nicely tie all the songs together with these simple (yet effective) motifs.
the ending of the album really makes you think. its a little sad to see all of the discordant sounds disappear. and the lyrics are reassuring you that even though you may not understand their method or message, that you will get by in the unforgiving world. its actually quite an effective conclusion. and after hearing the entire thing, i understand why they made the introduction the way it was... it was stating the introduction of impurity to a completely blissful existence, and the listener actually likes the slight impurity more than the blissful, overly-happy existence that plagues the first song.
this album has a lot... a lot of everything. a lot of grooves, a lot of oddities, a lot of story, a lot of thought, and a lot of brilliance.