This split releases comes to us courtesy of
the fine folks at Graveface Records, who have a
poorly maintained Flash-based website, so i consquently
know little about them. No matter. This release combines Dreamend,
a Chicago post-rock act (owners of the label? friends of the
owners? who knows!), with Monster Movie, which you will remember
is the post-Slowdive act of Christian Savill.
Monster Movie start this CD off with two tracks. The first
is called Beautiful Arctic Star, and is a nice little
tune. It is humbly constructed out of a sinple drum machine
beat with pulsing bass rhythms and tinkling starlight keys all
underneath Savill singing the title over and over again. (Actually,
he might sing something else too at some point, it's hard to
tell....) It's very catchy, subtly so. That is, when listening
to it you think "this is a nice enough song". Then you find
yourself singing "Beautuiful my arctic star" as you drive to
school, and later you wake up in a cold sweat at 3 AM after
a nightmare in which your cats were skittering around singing
"Beautiful my arctic star" in two-part feline harmony. So: it
really gets under your skin. And, i guess, that's something.
Monster Movie follow that up with Nobody Sees, which
is a pleasant tune of piano, harmonica, and lo-fi voice. The
harmonica makes it seem sadder than other Monster Movie tunes.
Then the CD ends with three tracks by Dreamend. Or, one song
by Dreamend spread over 3 movements, one CD track per movement.
I think. Really: their half of the CD blends into one holistic
post-rocking experience. The piece is called ...ellipsis...,
and on the whole it is pretty good. Dreamend are from the instrumental
Mogwai vein of post-rock. This piece is similar in general sound
and nature to music by Gwei-Lo,
The Sky, Mogwai, and
Tristeza. If you like the
output of those bands, you will enjoy ...ellipsis....
Otherwise though, really, it doesn't do much to further diversity
within that genre. It is pretty typical, and not to say that's
bad, but it doesn't really scream out with crossover potential.
Except... Well, there is one part in the middle movement where
the guitarist tears loose with a cheesey mid-80's hair metal
guitar solo that, while seeming slightly out of place, really
works. (In all honesty, it sounds like the guitarist spent some
time in the early 90's listening to Funland, a relatively obscure
Dallas act whose noteworthy achievement was doing a full-on
hair metal cover of Air Supply's Lost In Love/Making Love
Out of Nothing at All! A really obscure reference i know,
but i played Dreamend back to back with Funland, and there is
a real similarity of guitar sound. This could mean that there
is also a similarity with, say, Warrant, but i don't own anything
by them so i can neither confirm nor deny the rumours.)
Anyway, i would like to hear more by Dreamend before i pass
judgement on them. This release, however, does not lead one
to care strongly for them either way. On the other hand, they
do have an excellent website.
To conclude, the music on this CD is pleasant enough, but not
too challenging. It does show potential for the bands in question,
so kudos to them.