First of all, let me say that I love that Only Angels Have Wings let’s us write primarily about records that we feel are excellent and deserving of coverage. This way we (hopefully) offer some insight and won’t always feature the same ‘big’ indie releases that every other zine does. When you spend too much time talking about the Arcade Fire (I love them too), releases like Perverse can slip by… OK. I’m done with the preliminaries, here’s the review.
Writing a record review is a fruitless endeavor. It really doesn’t take much brain power to crank one out (if you have a brain), and the likelihood that even a small group of people will listen to what you have to say is doubtful. Find the usual pieces of information -- the artist’s past releases, who their influences are, etc --, add to that your knack for creative description coupled with some honesty and you’re set. This is the standard way to go about reviewing. More and more I find that it’s becoming pointless to try and talk about a record because everything begins to sound the same; every review follows the same guidelines. To get people excited and interested, the critic then has to go into creative writing mode. Reviewing a record becomes more about detailing some back story or surprising facts to get people interested rather than being analytical and describing the actual music. Unfortunately, it’s frustrating having to deal with the fact that most reviews can’t be done in the proper, critical manner (personally, I think the majority of music reviews in our little underground world are the furthest thing from critical). A lot of bullshit is spewed forth, simple, thoughtless opinions and biases are printed out and no actual research is done. It’s sad that most have to be entertained with a review in order for whatever record is being reviewed to stay in their little Spin-article filled heads (exactly what I am trying to do at this very moment). I am guilty of creating the same sort of entertaining reviews, but for Panicsville’s Perverse I’ve decided to do something a little different. This is genuinely challenging ‘music,’ yet it also stands as a work of art (something to be interpreted and carefully considered). One of the most interesting things about Perverse is why you feel the way you do after hearing it. I think it would be more important to talk about the effects of the music rather than the music itself. I am going to talk about the effect that Perverse has had on me, while also using the form of my review to create an important focal point for those who skim reviews.
Panicsville’s Perverse made me appreciate and enjoy the art of true noise music.
There it is. Now I know that if they click on the link to this review on the front page of Only Angels Have Wings they will read at least that one sentence, and then hopefully -- hopefully -- go and do some looking around on the web for the music. Although I’m not really sure you can call this music. I really, and without an ounce of elitist pretence, feel that this should be considered under the larger umbrella of art as a whole rather than music specifically. Calling it music creates all sorts of expectations and conjures limited interpretive processes. Perverse is unlike anything that most people have ever heard and therefore defies categorization with anything that can be termed ‘music.’ The main reason for this is due to the effect that it has on you after you listen to it. Hearing ‘music’ like this affects you in a way that only certain pieces of art or literature can. It leaves you feeling alienated and unsure. Unexplainable feelings arise when engaged with this confrontational art, and I think it’s wonderful when something is able to pull such hidden feelings out of me. For many, it’ll be just another noise record, but to me, Perverse came at just the right time to deepen my understanding of sound and its possibilities. Long ago I used to dismiss noise but recently I’ve found myself on the cusp of reaching an understanding with the genre. Perverse pushed me over that edge into a world of nihilism and limitless sonic possibilities. It brought to attention all the grey areas that make up my being and colored them in, rendering them just as relevant as the everyday. This is your gateway record into another world. Try not to be scared.
- Andrew Iliadis
/mar 1st 2005/