By Dusty Ray
Houston, we have a problem. There is no better phrase to describe the sense of discomfort brought on by listening to Space Indians’ new release, [sounds of].
This album is very uncertain of itself; it swings from lulling acoustic ballads into cacophonous noise, it buries itself in distortion while revealing light phrases of trumpet. Space Indians can be described as folk-deconstructionists, taking familiar melodies and comfortable harmonies and swiftly destroying them with the avant-garde.
“Another Man’s Shoes” has a disjointed, Captain Beefheart feel complete with raspy vocals and sludgy blues. “Follow Alice” presents competing rhythmic patterns and disorderly structure as the backing for a very straightforward and folksy melody; it’s like someone overlapped recordings of Frank Zappa and Jim Croce.
“These are Instructions” is a dark experiment with noise: Demonic ramblings lead on a symphony of abrasive dissonance sure to make any music teacher cringe.
Out of almost unlistenable noise there emerge gems of brilliance – songs that could find their way onto the radio – but Space Indians pull this rug out from under the listener without remorse.
Space Indians’ intentions are hard to pinpoint. [sounds of] definitely contains some pop-friendly tunes, but these must be dug out by the listener. Is it a statement about the music modern music industry? Is it just a couple of friends having fun? Space Indians leave this for the listener to decide.
By Dusty Ray