Two unedited reviews cut from the last issue of Magnet….BECAUSE THEY SUCKED!!!
BRIGHTBLACK MORNING LIGHT
A wave of preliminary scuttlebutt about this band seemed to only have one unifying claim: That this was
Matador?s entry into the arena of freak folk, also known as fried folk, free folk, and I?d gamble, some
other irritating phrases. I?ll dance with the ?folk? tag as long as we?re talking a grassroots, hippie, or
weirdo connotation, or all three, as these genuine articles did stink it up in the deep woods for some
time, writing this album, and not necessarily because they had somewhere else to go. On the sonic front,
this is not ?folky.? It IS inescapably rural, thick, and barring the repetitive factor, not minimal at all.
The guitar sound, flute, and horns bring up a jazzy end; the chords and piano are simple blues (sort of
similar to when the Allman Brothers thought they were a blues band), there?s a funk element (not kidding),
and everything else, if it sounds like anything, sounds like Bardo Pond. And I say, ?if it sounds like
anything? since the sound as a whole is hard to peg. It?s to be noted that my previous references are to be
regarded as hazy, as BML are hazy. And wet. Not the naughty implication; the breathing, organic one. The
phenomenal but understated drumming presents the only tension evident ? these people are positive and happy
to be bringing you their music, cynics and curmudgeons apply elsewhere. Matador Records
I later grew to intensely dislike that band.
The Hackled Ruff & Shoulder Mane
Despite the name, this is not a melodic black metal thrash crossover band from Erie, PA. Don?t you hate reviews that start out like that? But like said type of band from said depressing locale, Necropolis is facing a hard road ahead. Their problems will lie in audience and prospective fan embracement (or lack thereof) of another young band mining the post-punk/no-wave buffet, which is congealed and tasteless with flies circling. It helps, one supposes, that Necropolis are quite good at what they do: The Midwest version (they are from Columbus, OH) of yesterday?s Devo/Fire Engines/Contortions??today. On the positive side, Necropolis throw in lot?s of charming accoutrements (noise, echo, delay, co-ed vocals, noise, and noise) and the structure/songwriting in these herky jerky little numbers is just fucked enough to avoid a straight up comparison to the big boys in this game (Futureheads, Bloc Party), though they are a more than worthy opponent to something like the Rogers Sisters. I wish them the best of luck with this approach, such as was stated above, they have their chops down in the chosen musical margin, and The Hackled Ruff & Shoulder Mane has its exhilarating moments (?Colors and #?s?); let?s just hope they find themselves with the next album. They deserve it. [Columbus Discount Records www.columbusdiscountrecords.com]