Get Slimy with the Latest LP from Those Darn Gnomes
A long, long time ago, a boy genius by the name of Christian Molenaar used to write for this very site. He’s since moved on and become a man, putting away childish things like contributing to a poop fetish blog, and instead choosing to write unfathomably dense noise albums musically built upon the slime that grows in his disgusting home.
That’s not a joke. We don’t joke about slime around here. Christian notes, “While writing this album and living in absolute filth I ended up accidentally cultivating slime mold (physarum) and, rather than simply cleaning my house like a functional human, I began researching tools to track the mold’s growth rates. Once the data was collected, I processed it in a variety of ways to transform it into music, from feeding it to synthesizers as raw MIDI information to creating complex generative music programs in Pure Data and Max. The resulting noise formed the foundation around which much of Calling Whitetails To A Tuned Bow was based.”
Since Those Darn Gnomes first album The Years back in 2015, I’ve listened to each new release with equal parts curiosity and bedevilment. Nothing about this band is easy. And yet, Assembling Calling Whitetails to a Tuned Bow is somehow the band’s most ambitious and accessible work to date. Amid the weirdo jazz and noise, you’ll find yourself keyed in on haunting passages, as is the case with opener “Birds” which brings to mind the sinister regions of Australia’s The Necks or, perhaps to use a more, uh “mainstream” act, Kayo Dot.
That’s not to say the new record is devoid of brain melting waveforms. “Hall” glitches and twitches with swirling chaos, including heavily manipulated vocals, what I think is a concertina, and a guitar sample from “Don’t Stop Believin'”? “A Cliff In Our Garden” is a happening alt-rock ballad from an alternate world where DMT replaced Bud Lite at office happy hours. Closer, “The Frail Stag (Vanity Sounds the Horn and Ignorance Unleashes the Hounds Overconfidence, Rashness, and Desire)” is the record’s most impenetrable track. If you give me a few dozen more listens and many, many years of music theory instruction I might be able to give you a funny quip about it. For now, you’ll have to listen for yourself and point out the complexities to me in the comments.
I don’t understand a lick of this record but I like it. I’m genuinely unsure if that means Christian is doing his job or not.
Calling Whitetails To A Tuned Bow is out this Friday on Nefarious Industries. You can pick up your copy right here.
If you’re in San Diego next week, be sure to check out Those Darn Gnomes live and let them make you feel very, very uncomfortable.
6/29/2019 UC San Diego – San Diego, CA