Microscopic Suffering – The Rowing CD

24 September 2014 offering No Comment

Microscopic Suffering - The RowingMicroscopic Suffering – The Rowing CD (PentUpRelease)

Microscopic Suffering myspace

I’ve seen way too many revolutionary war reenactments and “Crossing the Delaware” paintings in textbooks for this release to not resonate with me. Featuring three pig-faced weirdos from Seattle, this nineteen and a half minute journey takes some unexpected turns on a freak boat-ride.

The CD is divided into two parts: “Disease Sets Forth” and “Landfall.” Disease makes great use of samples to usher in a frantic and clangorous arrangement of very nicely sequenced rhythmic noise and anguished vocals which are paired with some live percussion. Crackling mixtures diffuse and snake in the background, all elements mixed really nicely, and metal scrap howling through distortion can be heard as the first part comes to a close. Landfall features gallon metal drum hammering and powerful vocals with some neofolk trappings. More noise and dragging chains can be heard throughout along with drum machine.

My first main (and minor) concern (more like a question) with this release is that it contains a lot of interesting ideas all wrapped together seamlessly and plays like a mixtape. This is good because it offers a nice slice of variety and introduction to these folks. But occasionally it sounds a little bit like a sampler CD. Obviously, each of the two main tracks (and arguably some of the other interludes) could be carved off and expanded as stand alone releases as they offer dramatic changes and so I wonder what the individuals parts sound like if they had more time to develop (maybe I should like, uh, check out the rest of their discography, right?).

My other minor concern is the lyrics. The lyrics are printed in an insert and are penned with a callous appreciation for history and rhyming couplets. It’s a little cheesy, and I’m not sure if they’re writing from the perspective of an oarsman or some tyrant at the helm. I’m also a bit confused about some of the anachronistic mentions in the lyrics, but they work for the most part because the delivery and vocal effects for both parts, respectively are good.

Conceptually, the idea of fording a river with a bunch of diseased landlubbers only to reach a very heinous landfall, is pretty much a welcome bummer, if only musically. Presently, it’s hard to think of something worse, especially since the coldness and dampness of winter of New England are on well on its way. The packaging has some evocative American historicity maligned with some porcine modifications and also helps tie the release together.

Composition: ★★★★☆
Sounds: ★★★★☆
Production Quality: ★★★☆☆
Concept: ★★★★½
Packaging: ★★★☆☆
Overall Rating: ★★★½☆


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