As I was listening to Particularly Hello the new album by The World Palindrome I was thinking to myself how well the band played off of each other. Later that evening as I was reading their bio I was shocked to discover that the band isn't a band at all but in fact the work of one man named Les Easterby. Not since I discovered that Billy Corgan played all the parts on Siamese Dream (besides the drums) have I been so impressed of what one man can do who knows how to play a variety of instruments and make it sound like an entire band. Easterby’s creative genius flows all across this album. It combines experimental as well as traditional sounds and creates songs that follow a pop format that make them accessible to just about anyone with half a brain. Some songs have a little tinge of shoegaze, while other have a grungy 90’s rock feel, and then others seem to be inspired by the Beach Boys. Anyway you should get the idea that he isn't afraid to experiment. That being said, it doesn't feel borrowed. Instead the album feels uniform and original. The music reminds me somewhat of The Flaming Lips at times (he doesn't sound like Wayne Coyne at all but the music itself sounds like something Drozd would experiment with). Some have said that the music reminds them of The Soft Bulletin but I actually feel it’s a bit more comparable to Clouds Taste Metallic or Transmissions from the Satellite Heart. Another thing to take note of is the production. It is no wonder that it sounds good when it was recorded and mixed by Micajah Ryan whose credits include Guns N’ Roses and Bob Dylan.
The first song entitled “Particularly Hello” is one of the best songs on the album. It contains some excellent guitar work that sounds gorgeous. Cascading guitars provide a bed of melodies for Easterby to sing over. The vocal melody is just as catchy as the guitars. The song barely lifts off the ground before it ends and “We’ve Got It (All Worked Out)” starts before you know it. This song is a rocker that has some great experimental guitar work in the background – might be a synth but either way it is awesome. “Cut the Cake” was a highlight for me as it had some really cool effects in the background. It reminded me a bit of Of Montreal. The hardest hitting song on the album is “Nazty Boyz/Bad Habits.” It contains an onslaught of drums, distorted guitars and aggressive vocals. As the song progresses it becomes a blur of white noise and vocal harmonies. “Maritial Bliss” is the longest track on the album, lasting a bit over the five-minute mark. It is also really catchy and for some reason I was sensing a bit of sarcasm when he was singing “girl, I want to spend my life with you.” Maybe a bit like Ariel Pink. The last song “Trombone Moan Pt 1&2” is an experimental sound collage of what sounds like a lawn mower, free jazz tube style and de-pitched vocal rambling. It didn't sound like anything else on the album but somehow it was perfectly appropriate.
This album is awesome so just go listen to it.
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