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Micachu & the Shapes: Never

Last Updated 9/29/2012 3:10:34 PM

By: Arik Savage

Micachu & the Shapes Never (Rough Trade)Micachu & the Shapes


(Rough Trade)

Never begins with all the subtlety of a jackhammer outside of your bedroom window at 4a.m., but this just a prelude to cacophony. “Easy” starts as if the band started playing before anyone pressed “record.” The vocal style of repeating one thing over and over again, without harmony or regard for the rest of the band gives an idea of the album to come.

Micachu & the Shapes have a love of effects and strange sounds, which they display at every opportunity. This is most often with no regard for the strange new sounds or modified instruments their band mates are working with. It is impressive for a band to play together on an entire 14-track album and almost never collaborate. The only instrument which lends support to the others is the drum machine.

Micachu's vocals are atonal, droning and never quite compete with the rest of the outfit. As a result it is difficult to tell, without watching the time count down, when one song ends and the next begins. There is no cohesion between band mates within songs, and least of all across the album as a whole.

Never is an experiment in strange instruments making strange sounds. It might make background music to a piece of abstract performance art (but only at a decimal level of decibels), but this is not an album for dancing, singing along, toe tapping, or any level of intentional exposure.

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