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icicle "with love <3" RSS Feed (Knoxville, TN)

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Mount Wittenberg Orca
Mount Wittenberg Orca
3 used & new from $119.00

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Overlooked?, March 26, 2012
This review is from: Mount Wittenberg Orca (Vinyl)
If you fancy either The Dirty Projectors or Bjork, I suggest giving this a listen, because it is absolutely fantastic. It can be seen as a progression of sorts of the 'Bitte Orca' sound, however Bjork's vocals just drive it home and evoke one hell of a double-take from the likes of yours truly. The girls from the Dirty Projectors certainly hold their own here, intertwining their harmonies with such accuracy to perhaps be mistaken for something besides vocals entirely. I'm so in love with the way they really treat their voices like instruments, and its not just the girls; David Longstreth (although I may disagree with certain off-handed statements he's made about Frank Zappa)has a truly distinctive voice of his own. I frequently attempt to mimic his half-abrasive-half-sublime tones as I listen, and, of course, fall completely short. Longstreth's finger-work on guitar is something to be admired as well. Try 'Temecula Sunrise' off DP's Bitte Orca album to see this properly showcased. Mount Wittenberg Orca is focused mainly on the vocals, therefore the guitar is downplayed somewhat. I personally have no problem with this, but some people may miss the guitar/vocal interplay on Bitte Orca, to which I would be forced to reply with, "Fool, Bitte Orca doesn't have Bjork on it. Get a real opinion."

I mean, really, guys, there are so many gems on this EP. 'On and Ever Onward', 'When the World Comes to an End', and 'No Embrace' are my personal faves, but, honestly, every track is worth its weight in discarded copies of LMFAO's Sorry for Party Rocking.

The songs, all written by Longstreth about an auspicious whalewatching even involving Amber Coffman (of DP), were first performed at a charity concert, then released a year later, after extensive touring for Bitte Orca. All financial returns on the album, says Longstreth, are to be given away in partnership with the National Geographic Society to projects that attempt to create 'international marine protected areas'. So go here [...] if you want to both participate in environmentalism and purchase an MP3 copy of the album. Total win/win, right? Sorry amazon, hope this doesn't interfere with anyone's profits. Or DO I??


Paralytic Stalks
Paralytic Stalks
Price: $11.99
68 used & new from $0.88

15 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just buy it. Seriously, who are you kidding? I bet you just purchased Nicki Minaj or something, you jerk. Way to go., February 13, 2012
This review is from: Paralytic Stalks (Audio CD)
This is has got to be the best album to come out of 2012 so far, and, in my not-so-humble opinion, pretty much overshadows almost every other pop album released over the last entire year (although the term 'pop album' is barely justifiable). Do yourself a favor: buy it. Listen to it over and over again until Kevin Barnes' voice drives your emotions over a cliff and into the haunting abyss that is his mind. Paralytic Stalks offers an even darker glimpse into Barnes' psyche, seeming to reach even farther into the depths than on False Priest or Skeletal Lamping. It holds true to their seductive sweetness, while drenching us in an electronic hell of sonic existential horror that is unparalleled in its sheer musical and emotional depth by what other pop artists of our time are passing off as entertainment. Settling for anything less than the quality of this work is to be both held prisoner by your own complacency and to be deprived of something truly beautiful.

"Dour Percentage" is an immediate hit for those expecting a progression of sorts from False Priest's sound, although the whole album has a more organic feel, with its flute and sax arrangements. As always, there are hooks everywhere, but they feel increasingly often as if they're being pulled like teeth right out of my skull. "Wintered Debts" is one of the catchiest damn lyrical see-saws my brain has ever had the pleasure of being hijacked on, but it takes some serious work to wrap your mind around before the addiction sets in. "We Will Commit Wolf Murder", immersing our ears in another one of Barnes' brilliant vocal layering exercises, is yet another treasure, which didn't occur to me to begin with; these songs always take me a good five or six listens to even begin to appreciate. Don't give up on them; some are an acquired taste.

While the break in the middle of the thirteen-minute-long "Authentic Pyrric Remission" can't hold everyone's attention, the first movement alone is enough to keep me interested, and the ballad at the end of the album is well worth the wait. Maybe I just have too much free time, but the calamitous soundscapes produced in "Exorsismic Breeding Knife" feel kind of perfectly hung in between "Wintered Debts" and "Authentic..." like some sort of willful transgression from consistency. The anticipation is half of the fun, and the spontaneity of Paralytic Stalks is certainly refreshing to me; as with basically every Of Montreal album of late, it is a nigh unpalatable journey tinged with a bit of hyper-aware sadism on the part of both the writer and the listener.

If you are new to Of Montreal, (first of all...WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN?) this album certainly has the potential to turn you away. In no way is it as accessible as Sunlandic Twins, but if that is the band you want to hear, stick to the singles if you must (just know that I will anonymously hate you for it). It shares more similarities with Skeletal Lamping, with its rapid juxtapositions, though its musical ideas feel more thoroughly explored. Paralytic Stalks is intense, complex, and has a little something special for every Of Montreal fan. Almost every song feels like it could be a cue taken straight off a previous album; however this is not to say we are being led in circles. On the contrary, these songs are fresh, exciting examples of how incredibly technically proficient Barnes has become as a recording artist.

My advice: see them live. You will not be disappointed. One of the best things about this band is their live show. Paralytic Stalks tour begins 2/17.
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jan 10, 2013 6:55 AM PST


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