The album cover of Exercise in Stupidity by Zack Kirkorian literally gave me a David Lynch-esque type nightmare. After listening to the album I went to sleep and decided to write about it in the morning. I can’t remember the specifics of my dream but there was some kind of scenario similar to that depicted on the album cover which was terrifying.
The music on Exercise in Stupidity is somewhat experimental but not nearly as terrifying. I would say the most obvious reference would be Frank Zappa. There is a loose, absurd feel at times. The music is layered with samples, guitars, synth and more for starters with what you might call unorthodox kinds of vocal phrasings at times.
The first song is entitled “Love Me Now (OEM) which right off the bat has a bit of ’80s rock vibe to it especially with the guitar. That being said twists and turns such as the play vocal acting that felt absurd like a David Lynch movie or a Frank Zappa song.
“Candy” has a number of hooks that stood out right away as well as a lead guitar solo and it was also one of the more straightforward songs on the album. ”Clinch It Down Tight” is a little more layered while “Set You Off” is a repetitive dance beat that is layered with multiple synths, guitar and also has a couple of transitions that I wasn’t expecting.
“Get Along” was one of my favorites. There is a P-funk feel and has some of the most memorable vocal melodies. The instrumentation is also top notch on this track with a plastic funk feel to it. Another standout was “I Could Never Hurt You” which was another standout that reminded me of Nick Cave. I couldn’t really tell if “When I Look At You” was supposed to be ironic. It felt like such a straightforward ballad comparatively to the previous songs.
Kirkorian isn’t close to being done as he attempts songs with contrasting styles. A couple of other standouts were the ’80s inspired “We Gonna Dance” and the dramatic and epic “Taker.” He closes with the thirteen-minute field recording called “Desperate” which was a unexpected way to end the album.
Exercise in Stupidity has a unique off-kilter feel to it which also at the time feel like a homage to artists from the ’70s and '80s. Recommended.
We are dedicated to informing the public about the different types of independent music that is available for your listening pleasure as well as giving the artist a professional critique from a seasoned music geek. We critique a wide variety of niche genres like experimental, IDM, electronic, ambient, shoegaze and much more.
Are you one of our faithful visitors who enjoys our website? Like us on Facebook