Unknown Mortal Orchestra/Unknown Mortal Orchestra
It’s that opening track that drew me to it. High hat drum fills always catch my ear, I know there is a drummer paying attention somewhere. You’ll want to hear the first track, FFunny FFriends, again. And maybe once more. This record is plain without being boring. Simple and beautiful, it plays with time – mixing modernization of percussion with detailed single note guitar solos. You can find your love on the first listen, and like for it in the details.
The familiar English sounds that are reminiscent of underappreciated early psychedelic rock and filtered vocals go with the unusual spelling. Thought Ballune kicks off with a riff you might find in popular Beatles records, only here it’s layered on itself, thickening the sound and droning out. Looped beats come in to remind you what year it is – while an echo of synth makes it whatever year they dream it to be. Not noticing it’s repetitiveness, you’ll nod your head. You can listen to it on unlimited replay, in a daze. Find it hard to get sick of. The loops and hooks are so thick you’ll need to shake them off.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra uses dissonance like the delicate tool it should be. They don’t overwork their sounds. Working with the filtered hip hop drums makes them dreamy, giving the whole record a feel for itself. Soul sneaks in on Jello And Juggernauts and takes it’s pace on How Can U Luv Me. The bass really takes a walk around the layered chorus, “how can u luv me/when you don’t let me baby”. Surf rock finally arrives on Nerve Damage! with a creepy rasp this side of Captain Beefheart.
Each track seems to be a great hook with an expected guitar solo bridge, re: Little Blue House. The forms are filled out and the formula is known. It’s apparent. Any repetitive nature will speak for itself. Although with that in the back of your mind, you still don’t seem to care. Giving this debut a first listen is what it needs. The beats will have you going back for more, wanting to hear it again. Double checking the details. What you do with it after, you can decide.
Check out their website for tour dates and to pre-order the self titled debut, out June 21 on Fat Possum.