“Travels Into Several Remote Nations Of The World” – ‘The Yellow Moon Band’ & “Dirty Days” – ‘Flea Market Poets’
I’m bleeding at the eyes and ears people, literally – I’ve got text-finger-syndrome, I’ve got constricted nerves going on in both my wrists, and the vision only gets cloudier and bloodier every day from here on in. It’s been an ‘extreme’ effort finding anything worth mine and yours’ worthwhile. I’ve been distracted exploring the wholesome world called ‘Sigur Ros’. I know that ‘music-forefront’ is coming, I can feel it; a cool relief, a wonderful storm. But meanwhile, you and I are left out to bake in the desert called ‘mainstream radio’. There isn’t enough water to share between us both, at the moment. Me and my partner are on the verge of psychosis, musically-starved for nearly a month…
And the news just keeps getting worse, what with ‘Sh-wvine Flu’, and our imminent infection. Flock to the hills, people – but don’t forget your IPods and the sort, otherwise that trip to the country might just finish you off completely. With a number of local schools in the area, and what not, hit by this unseen, unheard, un-felt massacre that strangely seems not to affect the pig-populace of Australia, schools are dropping like flies!
And yes, there will be “Punch & Pie”…
While Michael Hodder gets back in touch with the rock-revolution of the current age, I find myself ‘out-of-my-element’, so to speak, with all things “heavy”. It’s difficult to crawl back to post-rock when my joint-reviews keep pulling me aside, down back into the rut. I was discussing in my recess, the “bitching” mood I’ve been in lately concerned with rock, and a band’s inability to distinguish itself from another. I just find too much of the same thing – a good band should be able to set itself apart from the rest, stake a claim at fame, and move on from their as a pioneer in their own right. And I know, this is a little too “optimistic” for some, and a distant realisation for others, but those who manage are immortalised in history forever.
This is all a little bit off-topic, a little too epic, and just a little too grand, for the bands I’ve been holding onto like Mars Bars in the desert. They’ve gooified into a now-petrified muck that’s somewhat reminiscent of music – they’re warm, fuzzy, but they’re not much to look at now, wrapper unveiled. And if you haven’t understood the mess of metaphor I’ve just verbally-vomited onto the screen:
“… Mortals! Now hear this!” God whispers…
The longer I keep a band, or an artist, usually has one of two probably outcomes – either they grow like Cognac in the palm, or they fizzle like a fire-cracker from New South Wales. And although both these bands have lost their new-edge over me, there still remains some salvageable material: “Travels Into Several Remote Nations Of The World” gets back to some grass roots of mine called ‘instrumental-rock’. A lack of dialogue ensues as a result, and we’re left with some awesome riffs, some fresh percussion, and an alright beat. Kudos to the band, although they’ll need to include some more info – on[ http://www.myspace.com/theyellowmoonband ] – but other than that, they should prosper with some hits and commendations.
There isn’t much to discuss when it comes to genre, the music has some pretty well-defined boundaries – they’re labelled indie – but they comfortably snuggle into instrumental-rock. The album opens with “Chimney”, some guitar/bass ‘twanging’ away. It’s a wonderful intro into the album, and it lures you in. It deals with layers, which is good, and builds – from guitar, to guitar, to percussion, to percussion, etc, etc. And what is odd, it serves as a weak representation for the rest of the album; with the chorus, we have some pretty delectable vocals going on here, which are henceforth mute come “Domini”. The music in “Chimney” works wonderfully with the vocals, and I can’t imagine why they put away with them?
“Domini” opens with guitar again, and a “strum… strum…” that sets the scene; a beat, beat, beat. It’ll have you head bobbing. Building, building, to a crescendo – the riffs, I have to say, are quite exemplary, and are some of the best I’ve heard all year. An awkward anti-chorus, which reminds me of “Millionaire”, the game show, just after you’ve entered your question. Don’t ask me where I pulled that one from. The building crescendo is lost in a bizarre silence, which I’ve yet to see accomplished in a band. You hold your breath, waiting, waiting, waiting…
I suppose it works, because this has to be my favourite for the album: “Domini” – a seven-minute riff-blitz. This is the kind of music that I’m proud to review. Much of the album follows suit, the typical guitar-intro, in ‘Entangled“, which is appropriately named – another chance for the guitar to ‘flaunt it’. It might get on your back a bit, because in some respects, the repetitive nature of ‘The Yellow Moon Band’ is in itself what makes their songs function the way they do. It is, on some level, the whole basis for instrumental-rock. They do shake it up, but this might be their downfall when it comes to fan-followers, or live acts. I do find them a fresh ‘slap-in-the-face’ and could happily sit and watch them play, but for others…
… I can’t say, I’m sitting on the fence with this one:
“Travels Into Several Remote Locations Of The World” is a riff-lover’s paradise, and I’m sure my partner, Michael Hodder, will be pleasantly surprised with this pick if he ever gets around to listening to them – the way he’s going at the moment, this is something that’s sure to add oil to the fire burning called rock. I’m not going to even try comparing them to anybody, at the moment: maybe ‘Tame Impala’, but even then, that’s a gut feeling, and feel free to shoot me down on that one, I know I would…
When it comes down to a rating, five is overly generous, three is unkind, and four just about sums it all up there. I like it, I’d buy it for, say, $10.
Where do I begin?
It’s a Friday night, it’s been a really, really long day, what with all this work, and sometimes my reviews are the last thing I want to do. But, I made it my sole obligation to stay true on my course, and not break my promise. So, here I sit, shackled until I finish. I’m glaring, at the moment, trying to read these funny symbols called ‘The English Language’, because I’m just about to collapse from sheer exhaustion. “Dirty Days” is a fine album to juxtapose “Travels Into Several Remote Nations Of The World”, because where ‘The Yellow Moon Band’ lacked vocals, here “Flea Market Poets’ have some soothing lyrics that should ease the burn on that soul of yours:
“… You ask me to surrender… you ask me to pretend… for sex, or love, or glory, you’ll do it to the end…” – “Dirty Days”
“Annie was a lovely girl, she got true inspiration, memory and fantasy were here star navigation…” – “Annie Superstar”
“Leave her alone…” – “Leave Her Alone” [laughs out loud]
Anyways, I find that with some bands, their lyrics can sometimes get lost within their music. Either one is louder than the other, or they’re screaming into that microphone, or they’ve intended it to be raspy, or echoed, whatever. ‘Flea Market Poets’ have got a strong male-vocalist [Jason Serious] that is clearly audible. Music for ‘FMP’ is all about strengthening ‘Serious’. In some respects, ‘FMP‘ is very similar – music-quality-wise, but not vocals – to ‘Eskimoe Joe’. Genre-wise, this is to be expected – they’re a %100 alternative.
There are thirteen tracks to listen to, and twelve of them, on average, top the four-minute mark, with some exceptions. The killer piece on this album, “Personal Sun”, a six minute long track that is difficult to fathom in its entirety. For me, a song like “Personal Sun” has to be good to keep me enthused, with an album length such as it is. It basically has to convince me why I should sacrifice a further six minutes of my lifetime to spend sitting back and listening. It opens with some bluesy tunes happening, and a very solemn, distant ‘Serious’ playing a very ‘serious’ role. There are solos, there are lyrics.
“… Where do you stand, my dead Uncle Sam?”
And it just exchanges a solo for some lyrics, for those six minutes. I just can’t get my head around it. It’s bad placement, in my book. It off-balances the album, it’s like a fly in your soup, you can’t help but see it, and you just don’t want to eat it. It brings “Dirty Days” down a notch in my book, because it just doesn’t FIT! And this tends to happen with a lot of albums, they drag you in by your heels, and you like what you hear, until you get to the bar, and it’s all Light Beer.
If I had to rate “Dirty Days”, I’d give it a three – simply because I enjoy a decent number of tracks on the album, minus the hiccup of “Personal Sun”. “Dirty Days”, the track, could have really summed the album up welll; instead, we have this. A buy, perhaps, again $10, or less.
Check out their Myspace at: http://www.myspace.com/fleamarketpoets
The Enantiomorphic God