A Story in White
Matador has some of
the best full-out tuneful indie bands in the business with acts like
Yo La Tengo, Jon Spencer Blues Explosion, Stephen Malkmus and Belle
and Sebastian. But for those of us who kept up, there were always
the weirdo acts that somehow snuck in. Thinking Fellers Local 282,
Sports Guitar, 18th Dye, to name a few; bands that were more
avant-garde than pop but that had just enough pop elements to carry
them through (18th Dye, for example, put out some of the most
interesting stripped-down rock albums you've never heard).
Aereogramme is right at home with the weirdos, mixing their quirky,
noisy, metal soundscapes with quiet, delicate melodies.
"Zionist Timing" is a full-out noise
rock masterpiece in line with Sonic Youth, latter-day Nine Inch
Nails or, yes, 18th Dye. The three minutes of "Shouting for
Joey," is divided between metal guitar, heavy drums and full-on
indecipherable screaming and a light-as-a-feather acoustic interlude
played over eerie industrial sounds.
For every weird one, there's a real beauty, like
the stunningly ethereal "Hatred," that chimes forward on
the strength of simple guitar, piano and Craig B's high-register,
haunting vocals that border on praying: "Hatred is rising
but I hope that Iím stronger than this." "Sunday
3:52," is somber cello, violin, acoustic guitar and a simple
melody. The lyrics, especially on the quiet numbers, seem to be all
about longing but could just as well be about recovery -- of the
emotional or chemical kind.
At over an hour, A Story in White is both
jarring and serene; haphazard on the surface, but beneath, there's a
method to the madness.
Posted Jan. 30, 2002. Copyright © 2002 Tim McMahan.
All rights reserved.
"Both jarring and
serene; haphazard on the surface, but beneath, there's a
method to the madness."