01 April 2007
Radiation, meet brain
Two reviews in one day? I'm throwin' rocks tonight! As I continue through my box of CDs that I ignored for months, I've pulled out one that I've tried to listen to a few times already but had to put aside for reasons of retaining sanity. Pittsburgh's (((Microwaves))) have one of those great names that lends an idea of what greets your ears. In the case of Contagion Heuristic that means wiring your head to your household appliances while completely fucking stoned. Tonight was the first time I got through the whole thing, mostly because it's such a laborious listen. Now I'm not saying that this album is terrible or unlistenable, because it's not. More accurately I'd say that it's incredibly dense and well...
This album abounds with textures surprisingly uncommon in the digital era. There are cracks, pops, fizzles, weird synths and a friggen panoply of distortion tones layered throughout. I chaulk that up to a masterful production job and an extensive knowledge of effects pedals. Unfortunately, though I do find a lot of the sonics here to be impressive, too much of the songwriting leaves me wanting. Experimentally structured, Contagion Heuristic can come off as "jam" of sorts. The album was probably a hell of a good time to make, and involved some fun drugs (unless these guys are of the drugless-genius-of-Zappa-variety), but I ultimately had to force myself through it over several listens that were weeks and weeks apart. For the most part I would take a look at "(((Microwaves)))" and say to myself, "shit, I know I should listen to this, but I'm really just not in the mood to deal with it right now." So yeah, I guess that thought kinda sums up this record, a lot of really impressive ideas that don't really end up going anywhere, or at least places I would want to go on a regular basis. There's gotta be folks out there completely digging this, these are just one man's opinions.
You can find this over with the folks at Crucial Blast.