Sunday, July 15, 2012

Everything Feels Bad All At Once - an album by The Human Fly

"Everything Feels Bad All At Once" by The Human Fly is like a dark stormy dream of the mind. Mainly just guitar and vocals with occasional bass guitar, the minimalist sound does not detract from the deep musical sorrow that bleeds through each track.

When multitrack recording first came into existence, the idea was to capture the simultaneous sounds of different sources and control them to their finest outcome. Over the years different technologies have enabled individuals to experiment with the notion of duplicating themselves. I imagine more and more control freak musicians came out of the wood work when 4 tracks became a viable consumer option. Now with software (much of the time, preinstalled) nearly anyone can multitrack. This means more and more extremely personal glimpses into the minds of the uncompromising. I am so happy to be alive in this time period for that reason alone.

As this album opens with "Plague" the sound becomes clear, while there are only a few instruments, the way they are edited together makes for some textured environments. They are dark, but there are signs and street lamps to direct you down the road of attractions. "Moth" was a standout track with a soulful and blossoming outro.

On "Severed Hed" drums show up for the first time, making a folky but solid back beat over a creepy acoustic chord progression. Sort of grungy but also kind of Tom Waits-ish. "Connecticut One" is slightly out of character for this set, a little less dark and a little more of a "sunny afternoon on the porch" kind of folk. Despite being different it still works. Also, "Primitive Ways" is like The Human Fly's take on a traditional 90's Pop Rock song, which also doesn't disappoint. Amazing guitar work on "Marlboro Man".

"Walpurgisnacht" brings the album to a fitting close with its slowed down anthemic call. This is truly a complete work from a specific time, in a specific place, in a very specific mind.

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