“Red States” – ‘Fredo Viola’ & “Numbers Integers” – ‘Konntinent’
Two albums, I have to say, contrast each other both so significantly – it was just the luck of the draw, really, that I managed to pick one good, one not so crash hot – where to begin…
I feel like being a bastard today, so we’ll start with “Red States” :
An awkardly strung album, it doesn’t begin with what you expect, keeping in consideration the other tracks are quite different. If I had to compare ‘Red States‘ – the opening track – with another example, I would like it to ‘Mika‘ – whom I absolutely loathe, whose contemptible happiness is next to that of bad shrooms…. ugh… horrible happiness, horrible, horrible, happiness.
Pessimism all the way!
But apart from that, there is one quite delectable track I would recommend, if simply for its lyrics: for the past few days, I’ve been quoting the quite hilarious “if you mix arsenic with brass you get ass“. Call me crazy, but if you weren’t already insane, you’re sure to be off with the fairies with ‘Let The Sad Out’. “My monkey’s brass ring is losing it’s glow” is just another example. If we juxtapose this, with, oh, say ‘Occam’s Razor’ we get a different kettle of fish altogether. I just don’t know what to expect from this album, is it supposed to be serious, funny, etc, etc, the list is endless…
So, if you see this baby selling for five bucks, it might be a good investment, but don’t reach too deep into your pocket, there’s nothing here, really, worth coming back to after your first listen. Rating this with rubber chickens doesn’t even begin to sum up this album’s overall ‘blah-ness’…
“Wow, put her back in, she’s not done yet” – Larry Burns, The Simpsons
Yuppo, here we’ve got a half-baked loaf of day-old bread, three outta five poppy seeds.
I don’t even know where to begin with “Degrees Integers” – and I’m not saying that in a bad sense, this album totally blew me away, it had me awestruck for forty minutes wanting more. I think it’s dealing with ambiance on a totally unseen level, testing what we think as music. It’s opener, ‘Nassau Tree’ is of an exceptionally high calibre, considering that it was self produced and all. Other reviews I read on this album destroyed it, pummelled it into submission, tore it to shreds, the works – but I think that in some regards, if you sit and just listen, this album has a lot to give.
Personally, I would highly recommend track three, ‘The Partisan’, it has to be the overall best this album has to give: just listening to it now conjures up images of a lone gunslinger trekking through the wastes of nuclear fallout. Very powerful.
Don’t feel put off with this album’s lack of lyrics, it makes up for vocals with what it has in its guitar. If Ambient music isn’t your thing, I still say go with the flow – this is an excellent example of how music can just be music, without the distractions of poorly-strung lyrics sometimes, or emo-shouting in death and heavy metal. Fans of ‘Mogwai’ will obviously know what I’m talking about, but ‘Konntinent’ utilise the human voice rather as an instrument. If you enjoyed their album “The Hawk Is Howling” then ‘Konntinent’s’ “Numbers Integers” is definitely for you.
Other than that, it’s less about talk, more about listen – go out there, search it for yourself, prepare for a daunting forty minutes as you immerse yourself in “Numbers Integers”
Where do I begin to rate this?
For a start, I’m not using the bread metaphor again. Four and a half strums outta five, should do the trick.