Sunday, November 8, 2009

Volcano Choir New Album Unmap

original article from The Aquarian

The word volcano conjures thoughts of hot lava engulfing buildings, ruining cities, and leaving nothing but dust. So with a name like Volcano Choir, wouldn’t you expect a huge explosion of sound powerful enough to melt your face off? Sadly, this Wisconsin band is a bunch of indie rockers that have probably snorted too much dust making their looping melodies and moaning vocals.

Unmap sounds like a bunch of whales talking to each other while listening to ambient synthesizer music. Some tracks abruptly end instead of smoothly transitioning into each other and have lots of tone clusters. “Cool Knowledge” starts off well with some awesome throat singing, but is quickly ruined with the cat-like vocals that come in, but I probably only liked that track because of its short length. The vocals that sound the best are on the song “Still,” but it’s because they use auto-tune. The rest of the album is uncanny reverberations of gobbledygook accompanied by whispering vocals.

Though Unmap does have a euphoric sound at some points, it’s ruined with nasally vocal harmonies, unpleasant popping percussion, and weird spacey sampling. The whole ambient thing is about being avant-garde and different, but it’s no good when you end up sounding like a strung out zombie singing Radiohead.

photo by / CC BY-NC 2.0

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