Meddleander by The Hayseed Boys is something that just needs to be heard because even loosely used most people would hesitant to call this music. It’s basically a collection of tapes that have been collected over the years and then cut, manipulated and sequenced so that it has some kind of consistency. There are 25 tracks on this album with the shortest piece lasting just seven seconds and the longest lasting just over 6 minutes. This project started in 2005 by Matthew Topartzer & Mark Morrison and was self-released in 2006 and then re-released by Lucky Chicken Audio earlier this year,
The first four tracks on this album are a phone conversation between a man and a woman that we get to listen to that revolves around drugs, money and a general feeling of dysfunction (that could be found funny at points). As the conversation plays out we hear strange anomalies of sound in the background. Possibly the slicing of tapes but it is a somewhat eerie ambience of sound that lies underneath the conversation. “I'll Donate Some Money” contains various clips of conversations as well as a disorienting culmination of cascading blips and bleeps. “More Words” freaked me out - it wasn't so much the conversation but the noises in the background. It created an ominous overtone that was slightly uncomfortable. “Sylmar” is the first track that contains melodies (not bad ones at that) that are picked on a clean electric guitar. About halfway through we are introduced to more tape recordings of people’s phone conversations. “Artist Song” is really the first real song on the album. The song is fun, catchy, poppy but sounds like it was recorded on a tape recorder and is plagued by digital distortion. The 15th song on the album entitled ”Tacos” is funny – the conversation we hear is downright hilarious - while “Asleep on the Roof” is another horrible recording of a pretty cool song.
The album progress with manipulated tape conversations and eventually overstays its welcome by the time you get to the 25th song. This album, if you can call it that, isn’t something you are going to pop in over and over again because it has great songs, but because it does serve a purpose. It’s something I can imagine a lot of people either liking or hating. There is some humor in these tapes as well as conversations that can be somewhat intriguing. Overall, this is an interesting concept that is enjoyable, humorous and sometimes inventive but never fully comes to fruition.
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