Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fat Worm Of Error – Ambivalence and the Beaker. Experimental/Avantgarde

Reviewed by Cthulberg.

Fat Worm Of Error first caught my ear a few years ago with their track Pesky Fly on the String Of Artifacts compilation where they appeared alongside other greats in the same approximate genres such as Caroliner, Sun City Girls, Hans Grusel’s Krankenkabinet, Smegma, Masonic Youth and Ritualistic School Of Errors to name but a few. While doing some random browsing, I thought I’d better expand my knowledge of FWOE and get this 2010 re-release of the limited edition CDr on Yeay! Cassettes (2006). I come pretty much prepared for anything when listening to music and so I was pleasantly unsurprised at the sheer number of musical textures used in constructing this album. Clearly a great deal of thought and preparation has gone into the making of this album as well as a huge amount of cultural ambivalence in keeping with the title. The album is absolutely riddled with abrupt noise transitions and you'll be pulled from one end of the scale to the other with mindnumbing frequency.
Some of the vocal experiments sound a bit cheesy, poorly executed and genuinely arbitrary in an underproduced way, which is to be expected and there are a lot of unmusical parallels to be drawn against the likes of Caroliner in particular, but the quality of the sound itself is a lot better than most Caroliner albums. There are moments here which would not be amiss on [insert random Caroliner album] and the vocal delivery on Tickles does eerily sound like The Hernia Milk Queen of 1880's ergotine fame. The comparison to some older European artists is not really amiss either as I can certainly hear some dampened echoes of Etant Donnes, Bladder Flask or Lt. Caramel in there as well as a disjointed bassline highly reminiscent of some old Lemon Kittens track whose name eludes me at the moment. I for one never tire of the kind of frenzied drumming where the percussionist sounds like he/she has been firmly strapped to his drumkit atop the worlds longest flight of stairs, forcefed half a bottle of scotch and sent on his merry descent into dysrhythmical cacophony. When this is successfully coupled with desperately flapping guitars, found sound of dubious origin, bleeping synthesizers, fancy sound effects, intensely moronic vocal flights from which actual meaning is as rare as gold in a ton of dirt, outright noise, a cello (!) and enhanced amplifier buzzing it’s all good in my book. Sometimes you'll be able to discern a regular melody forming, only to be whisked away a few seconds later which to me hints at the monumental abundance of potential invention inherent in this music.
The visual aspect of this release is also in keeping with genre tradition. It comes packaged in a slim-line digipack with a lyric insert and lush surreal drawings which complement the music exactly.
Ambivalence and the Beaker is a wonderful little album and if you enjoy difficult music which demands your attention at all times, being in the same amazing musical tradition as the Commode Minstrels, Severed Head In A Bag, Rubber’0’ Cement and so on, you will not be disappointed in the slightest. Gracenote has this album tagged as Indie Rock, which is quite possibly the best description one who has no concept of alternative music can give in two words. It’s independent. Some might recognize this as rock music if they slept with it for a forthnight and threw all their musical preconceptions out the window. My iPod-of-Doom-tag now reads Excellent Shit. And it is. I wouldn't carry it around with me otherwise.

Artist: Fat Worm Of Error

Label: Resipiscent –

Year: 2010 (re-issue of 2006 CDr)

Format: CD

Country: USA

Track list:

1. Ambivalence And The Beaker

2. Wipeless Two

3. Return Of The Thin White Dook

4. Mashed Potentate

5. Golden Nozzle

6. Touchless

7. Foaming Study

8. Shunt Creek

9. Broods

10. Fut Chuggo Dummos

11. Ratsong

12. Tickles

13. Ruined Herbivore

14. Ruined Appendix

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