Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

Consumer Guide:
  User's Guide
  Grades 1990-
  Grades 1969-89
  Expert Witness
Books:
  Going Into the City
  Consumer Guide: 90s
  Grown Up All Wrong
  Consumer Guide: 80s
  Consumer Guide: 70s
  Any Old Way You Choose It
  Don't Stop 'til You Get Enough
Writings:
  CG Columns
  Rock&Roll& [new]
  Rock&Roll& [old]
  Music Essays
  Music Reviews
  Book Reviews
  NAJP Blog
  Playboy
  Blender
  Rolling Stone
  Billboard
  Video Reviews
  Pazz & Jop
  Recyclables
  Newsprint
  Lists
  Miscellany
Bibliography
NPR
Web Site:
  Home
  Site Map
  What's New?
Carola Dibbell:
  Carola's Website
  Archive
Venues:
  Noisey
CG Search:
Google Search:
Twitter:

The Olivia Tremor Control

  • Dusk at Cubist Castle [Flydaddy, 1996] Neither
  • Black Foliage: Animation Music [Flydaddy, 1999] B-

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Dusk at Cubist Castle [Flydaddy, 1996] Neither

Black Foliage: Animation Music [Flydaddy, 1999]
This division of the Elephant 6 consortium loves tunes, and its soundscaping has few equals in indiedom. When it mixes the two, the result is often kinda beautiful even though the lyrics are avowedly "not going to shed any new light on humanity," and even though the sonics tend toward the perverse-disembodied outtake snippets, mechanical malfunctions, and tape fuckups that their hip-hop counterparts would bury in beats or declare inimical to organic life. But as the album goes on (and on), the strategy becomes not noize-toon synthesis, but weird song as reward for unpleasant sound. At its most generous, this may be the music of the young Brian Wilson's dysfunctional dreams. But at its most pretentious it's his bad trip. And bad trips weren't the main reason the psychedelic worldview fell into disrepute. The main reason was that it was full of shit. B-