Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Millipede - Full Bloom

Full Bloom
(2010, Install)
RIYL = Yellow Swans, The Goslings, Fennesz

Loud. It’s a term whose description is most notably a reference to sound produced at high levels of audible volume. That the term feels uncomfortably lacking when used as a descriptor for Millipede’s latest album, Full Bloom, is telling. This album isn’t simply loud, it’s is deafening. This is one of the few albums that demand a parental advisory sticker (remember those?) for audio abrasiveness alone (notifying Tipper right now). It's the tangible threat of Millipede’s thunderously noisy guitar jarring loose components of one’s inner ear. Despite having listened to the album well over twenty times now, whenever I start listening to Full Bloom, without fail, the sheer audacity of the recordings require that I turn the volume to its lowest level and then slowly ease myself into the uproar. Otherwise, I fear the unbridled raucousness of Millipede’s guitar will cause my headphones to sprout teeth and consume my ears whole. Like boiling a live frog, or something. What? I don’t know. However, the fact that Millipede’s latest (and might I add at this juncture, greatest) album is indisputably, to put it ever so lightly, loud, is not to say that the tonal architecture here is ugly. Do not be fooled into thinking that something so vociferous cannot also be intensely gorgeous, because - my friends - that is exactly what Full Bloom turns out to be. Once you’ve peeled through the oniony layers of this dauntingly strident album, what you’ll find running underneath is almost beyond description in terms of its depth and beauty. Up front, the guitars are shattering like crystal, but the refracted vision that these fractured tones illuminates something wholly unique, and gorgeous. There sits deep within these recordings, that, I’m sure, to 99% of the population can be simply qualified as unbearable noise (“kids these days!”), a Zen that isn’t manageable at softer, more contemplative tones. Full Bloom achieves what all those minimalist drone kids are aiming for, but can never quite attain: something concrete, compelling and enlightening, all at once. Don’t get caught in the crowd that will flippantly label this as just another noise album. I promise, it is so much more.


Millipede on MySpace
Full Bloom via Install

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