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October 2014
Mumblr
"Full Of Snakes
"
mp3

The major takeaway for Mumblr’s new album Full Of Snakes (Fleeting Youth Records) is that it really takes balls to write songs that truly say nothing. As counter intuitive as it may sound, there really is something admirable in using music to not really express all that much. Any jerk with a voice and a few chords can say a whole lot about how their ex is horrible; what really matters is how much of that content is actually worth hearing. And brother, Mumblr has found a way to make saying nothing profound.

On the surface, the album initially sounds like some sort of early 2000’s generic pop-punk; the first song “Got It” opens with that familiar sense of vague, safe anger. It’s very “high school” reminiscent, right off the bat, with lines like “I got it if you want it” and “I’ll invite you to my room.” But as the song closes and we drift into “Sober,” the tone very gradually starts to feel off. It starts to feel a bit weirder, with this sense of reckless abandon that you only hear in a Violent Femmes song. And it’s not that one is true, and the others is not; this album is walking a razor’s edge between the most self-aware of indie post-punk and the obliviousness of adolescent guilty pleasures.

And while that may sound like a chaotic mess, the seventeen-track full-length really is the having-and-eating of one's cake. We get the indulgence of grandiose guitar riffs and over the top shrieks, but with just enough originality in the composition to give it a sense of being slick and even avant-garde. Don’t let the outward sense of crazy abandon fool you - this thing is airtight. And a lot of that can be chalked up to Nick Morrison’s vocals; he brings a real sense of cleverness to the whole thing, in no small part to the fact that he can turn his voice on a dime.

One endlessly fascinating reoccurring theme is the use of repetition in their lyrics, with phrases like the aforementioned “I got it” and “someone’s been sitting in my chair” echoed over and over again, beyond the point of simple parody. It’s that old artistic trope of repeating something until it becomes meaninglessly applied to lyrics, and it’s interesting to hear expressions of youthful angst to become so alien and meaningless.

They take these universal touchstones of adolescences, including the use of “shock” lyrics such as “if God is a woman I’m going to hell” and gleefully drive them into the ground while enjoying the ride. It’s fun, it’s cool, and will leave you thinking more than any other post-punk album in months. And it does so while still being a genuinely fun throwback to a sort of music that you don’t really hear in earnest these days. - Daniel Ludwig

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Your Children is Beautiful, Synth Sircus, and More at Millcreek Tavern June 16

Your Children is Beautiful, Synth Sircus, and More at Millcreek Tavern June 16

It’s been pretty quiet in the Your Children is Beautiful camp. Maybe it’s because they are busy working on a 15+ song album entitled DIE COOL or it could just be that the scraggly crew’s chilled-out, gentle indie pop is generally not that loud in the first place. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t make some noise when they take the stage tonight at Millcreek Tavern armed with plenty of new tunes. And from improvisational progressions and sonic frequencies to talking computer and classic video game consoles, Synth Sircus is one of those collectives that you can’t exactly figure out until you experience them live. To a point, even they don’t know sometimes since their musical collage is often designed as they play along. Debuting in 2010, the analog sideshow has featured members of Agent Moosehead, Grimace Federation, Music For Headphones, Aunt Dracula, and a whole host of other performers so expect the surprises to continue. Also on the lineup are Cannons, who will be injecting some rock into the evening of chillness. They recently released their new EP Cuddled By Giants (which you can take a listen to and purchase HERE) so there should be plenty of new material circulating among the bands. Add in the one-man synth project of Time Ghost and New York’s You Bred Raptors?, and you now have a reason to swing by the Millcreek to grab a drink or ten. Millcreek Tavern, 4200 Chester Ave., 9pm, $5, 21+ - Bill McThrill
 

 

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