Not in a very long time has an album challenged me like AFCGT’s Sub Pop debut. Its full of long and dark atmospheric noise jams, yet even when the songs shoot past the ten minute mark it never gets old. The listener is assaulted with punishing, uncompromising walls of screeching and distorted guitars for nearly forty short minutes. It’s one of the few incredibly indulgent albums that manages to avoid feeling incredibly indulgent for most of its running time. Its a feat very few bands can pull of, and I doubt that anyone else this year will do it as well as AFCGT has.

Its an album that demands to be taken on its own terms and one for the headphones. It needs to be taken in while nothing else distracts you-just let it in. Absorb it over and over again, and by the fourth or so listen you’ll see its appeal. It can be long and droning (Two Legged Dog) or loud, fast and impenetrable (New Punk 27).

Its big drawback is the same that occasionally befalls Animal Collective and always plagues Joanna fucking Newsom (that and having a voice like a nine year old imitating a dying cat): it can be more admirable for its unique ideas and approaches than it is listen-able. Its great through the first ten listens, then it gets delegated to my favorite albums of the year so far pile and I almost completely stop listening to it. I don’t think that will be AFCGT’s fate, but it will definitely come close. It’s a pretty damn good, pretty damn challenging album that will probably get overlooked, but it lacks the charisma to be much of a repeater.

~ by Andrew Baer on February 28, 2010.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: