Through the Fog, Through the Pines
Guest review by Matt
first listen of Bronwyn's latest on Portland, Oregon's Greyday Productions
label, confusion will surely ensue.
The ingredients are all
there for a great rock-and-roll record: dueling female vocals, guitar,
bass, drums, the occasional cello and other string instruments.
Rather than creating inviting music, the instruments present a pure
cacophony penetrable by the indie-only listener. Perhaps it's the
dissonant and toneless plinky electric guitar at the intro of nearly
every song, the math-rock drums pounding uneven time signatures,
or the annoyingly off-key female vocals that make this album one
Songs such as "Ten
Billion Remote Controls" start off with a jangly melodic guitar,
then suddenly Bronwyn goes out off its way to ruin a melody with
dissonance vocals and poor drumming. The thin production serves
the thin music quite well, creating a cold and unwelcoming atmosphere
that will turn anyone with an ear for melody away.
Despite Bronwyn's gaining
popularity in the Portland scene, they remind me of a type of band
that, once someone else starts liking them, will get the cold shoulder
from their ardent "indie" followers. That's not necessarily
a bad thing. Music this unmelodic shouldn't be attracting fans,
Posted Nov. 1,
2003. Copyright © 2003 Tim McMahan. All rights reserved.
than creating inviting music, the instruments present a pure
cacophony penetrable by the indie-only listener."
I could never get
past the atonal vocals, that have all the charm of Indian
chanting. You get the sense that the vocalists were told to
put something over the top of the already finished instrumental
tracks -- doesn't really matter if has a melody or not, just
sing something. Grating.