Album Review

Onethirtyeight – “The Sister” – [Tuesdays Music]

ophelia necro   8/2/2006   A Library

Onethirtyeight is a London-based band, creating a darkly original style of music – written, produced and performed by one man, Dan 138 (with additional vocals by Suzi on track 5 and additional guitar on track 6 by Simon Rhodes). ‘The Sister? EP is Onethirtyeight’s third release through Tuesdays Music. 6 tracks of dark, twisted, halloween everyday weirdness with murky organ and keys, guitars, bass, theremin, effects, samples, buried and muffled vocals and drum (it really sounds like just one). Track one is 27 seconds of a clock chiming to 12, this leads straight into track 2 ‘The Squid Boy’ (5:41) about the fate of a dying squid boy, his mother unable to revive him, you really need to read the lyrics to understand the strange vocals which are layered within the music rather than sung…Track 3 ‘Waldensian’ (3:22) starts strong with keys and the sound of a crying baby leading into the repeated verse in a sometimes demonic voice “God keep you safe” (a very creepy baptism?) Waldensians were apparently a body of Christians, hiding in the Alps from the days of the original apostles, they beieved in (1) the literal interpretation of the Bible, (2) genuine poverty, and (3) preaching. – Track 4 ‘There’s an Earl On Mars’ (7:20) has the most straightforward (meaning not affected) vocals that are sung this time for the most part, piano. ecoplex? + voice. It is about an Earl on Mars who sits and sings to himself, alone, unaware of the crowds listening and yearning to join him. Track 5 (28 seconds) is an old man telling about his sighting of 6ft albino penguins and is the most amusing track complete with fake bird noises. Language in 5 “Goddamnit”… Track 6 (7:44) is similar in melody to track 4 but utilizes electric guitars (instead of piano), whistling and wailing-like vocals and a drum, the only buried (yes pun intended!) lyrics being “bring her flowers” and since the song is titled ‘Alexandra Elsbeth (1864-1932)’ we only need to know what cemetery she is in to fulfill the request. This is weird stuff that is pretty tough to categorize, it has an unmistakable horror soundtrack quality…surreal subject matter fit for an early Lynch film, it will definately appeal to people’s darker sensibilities, people fond of keyboards and people who enjoy the strange and unusual. I (of course) am strange and unusual and I really like this release.


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