9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Pure pop perfection with experimental flourishes,
This review is from: Dusk at Cubist Castle (Audio CD)
I can't help but bemoan the current state of 'pop' music, 'pop' is meant to be beautiful, life affirming, damn catchy music; so how come when ever I dare to switch on MTV I'm confronted by such ugly music. 'Pop' seems to have ceased to exist as a genre, the 2.20 minute brilliance of 'Love me do' by the Beatles has merely been replaced by watered down versions of other genres. Hip-hop lite? Check. Punk lite? Check. Indie lite? Most definitely.
As members of the Elephant 6 collective The Olivier Tremor Control share its love for classic pop music, psychedelia, and experimental sounds. And after eight years their debut 'Dusk at Cubist Castle' still sounds utterly fresh and completely unique.
There was a song writing house in NYC where the cleaners were collectively named 'Old Greys', and if the cleaners could whistle a song after hearing it once it had passed 'The Old Grey Whistle Test'. This is where the Olivier Tremor Control step in with their unabashed love for the classic pop music of 'Pet Sounds' and 'Sgt. Peppers', 'Dusk at Cubist Castle...' is an album so densley packed with melodies that one would like to imagine the Old Greys could whistle it from start to finish after just one spin. Alas the sheer sonic density of the compressed 4-track production combined with the more experimental tendencies of this album would most probably render such a feat impossible.
That's Ok though because its what makes this album one of such classic proportions; the fact that songs as wonderfully catchy and succinct as the 1.58 minute 'Jumping Fences' can sit along side the ten suite fuzzy tape manipulation of 'Green Typwriters' without sounding forced is a testament to the breadth and vision of this group. The densely layered vocal harmonies don't just imitate Paul McCartney and Brian Wilson, they sound like they were cut from the same cloth. High praise indeed, but when you sit down to listen to album as consistently surprising, satisfying, and downright catchy as this you'll know what I mean, it only saddens me that after eight years the rest of the world still hasn't caught on to what pop music is meant to be.