on 14 January 2005
Heard Seminar 2 a couple of times, then lost it; never got it back. I seem to recall it was exactly the same as this one, though. Namely, about five hundred levels of noise, sound frequencies, arty mumbling, buried (though perceptible) humour and the occasional crushing rock-out; like Neurosis meets Kyuss meets Mogwai. There's some strangled wailing from Eugene "Oxbow" Robinson on here somewhere; clearly Old Man Gloom is not a band per se, but a Grand Central Station for passing nutjobs. Excellent.
The sleeve notes are not pretentious so much as hysterically funny (especially the 'Things That Would Make My Life Better...' list), and even funnier is the mondo bizarro Dr Strangelove-type dialogue on 'Something For The Mrs.' Oh, and the artwork is quite incredible.
It's true that the vocals don't stray beyond a generic roar'n'holler routine, and yes, the final track lasts about two years, but I find it hella refreshing that something as droll and unfathomable (and NOISY!) as this can exist nowadays. There's nothing wrong with pretention, as long as you're doing something with it - Old Man Gloom seem to be deliberately messing with your head and creating an aura of mystery, just like Chris Morris (and just NOT like the frigging Libertines).
on 4 January 2005
Now, these guys are pretentious. In fact, pretentious doesn't begin to sum it up. If Pretentious were a place on the map, then Old Man Gloom would have set up a medieval castle there, complete with a village, a town, a market, a monarchy, a Court Jester and a population to rival that of Nottingham. But I think that may be part of the point. Indeed, Old Man Gloom seem to be an exercise in pretentious noise-making - Track 3, Something For The Mrs, only seems to have 2 chords, which sound like they were played on an electric organ or some similar synthesiser, and are repeated for over 5 minutes, nearly 6...
Then there're spoken word vocals, which state that "...Every man shall be provided with a small but perfect Archbishop Spellman which will be self inflatable, curtesy of air reduction." Artistic? Intelligent? Effective? Or just a load of rubbish created by a pretentious twit?
Indeed, the album also features the heavy pieces that endeared Old Man Gloom to the extreme music magazines - blasts of screamed vocals, distorted guitars and up-tempo noise make up the fantastic Skullstorm, and the album is made up of so many layers that it will take more than one listen to pick up on everything it has to offer.
Something of a slow burner, and definitely one of the truly great musical offerings of 2004.
on 6 July 2005
Liked Isis, bought this, enjoyed it, but not quite as good as Aaron Turners original project, promising though! :)