COMING IN JANUARY
The first Bren’t Lewiis album of the New Year arrives on Inauguration Day, on purpose, even though there are no illusions that it will have any more of an impact on the nature of the nation’s venomous collective consciousness than the event it commemorates. Still, as part send-off, part retrospective obstacle to wound management, this screeching, undulating psychocosm is dominated by four shrill, seemingly interminable portraits of noxious invisibility. Dissonant synth pulsations; loops of unpleasant contact mic scrape; atmospheres that resonate less than the aftermath of a collapsed parking garage; incessant electric guitar fractures; keeko-bleeko theremin scribbles; lost transmissions of PBS documentaries that resurfaced in a desert trailer park; unnatural congress with the inanimate populace of that rich musical wonderland, the suburban garage — screamin’ babeh jazus, what building blocks!
Accompanied by production values that are both supportive and antagonistic, Lucian Tielens reads an account of a husband and wife forced to slaughter a sea turtle as published in their autobiographical 117 Days Adrift. The group’s minister of psychological effrontery and textician scrambler-in-chief Tom Chimpson navigates a cactus labyrinth of construction site field recordings, mad radio, turntable aliens, and Jon the Baptist’s murble-possessed guitar. His matter-of-fact message — about insurance, maritime infestations, messianic origin stories, and fragments that seem to say “no idea, you tell me” — arrives more garbled than perjured testimony in a kangaroo court where Masons are getting persecuted. One of two very brief tracks, Lala Lu’s confessional / plea / accusation / state of the union opens the album. And then, functioning as an oasis at the midpoint, a short mashup where Kristin Anderson’s boat slip sonata field recording rests on top of the gleeful self-pleasuring of Nixon, the rhino-hound sculptor owned and operated by Glub Pasha and Stanley Zappa.
Stop Yelling At Me In Neon Braille could be a rare MRI that ends up providing no useful diagnostic assistance; fortunately, an hour-plus of your time that drops an extra smidge of stress, discomfort, and claustrophobic panic into the skull is your idea of a prized resource. That’s what it says in your file, anyway.
Cover art by Steve Marquis.
As usual, it will be available via Bandcamp, Tedium House, and Chocolate Monk