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Perhaps Contraption - 2010 - "Sludge and Tripe"

(62:59, 'Perhaps Contraption')


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TRACK LIST:                   

1.  The Old Dispensary 4:45
2.  Glenavon Bog Sings an "A" 1:28
3.  Bluebells 4:04
4.  As Sure as Eggs Is Eggs on Sunday 2:28
5.  Hard Cutlery 6:09
6.  Swan's Regal Birdbath 2:32
7.  Tetrahedron 3:43
8.  Fairly Old Curtains 0:06
9.  Swank 4:16
10. Globule Follicle 3:15
11. Mum Is Your Dad 7:02 
12. Mumma's Shoes 5:23
13. Hydraulic Legs 4:45
14. Milk and 2 Sugars 0:34
15. Coffee Tea 3:32
16. Make It Come out Green 8:57

LINEUP:

Squire Squier  vocals; guitars; flute, clarinet
Dildo Window  drums; vocals
Pimi Mayfair  bass; vocals
With:
Mathew Johnston  bass; vocals (5, 7, 9, 10, 12) 
Jack Attack  guitars (5, 7, 9, 10, 11, 16)

Prolusion. Englands PERHAPS CONTRAPTION is a band "mostly based out of London", and has been around since early 2004 or so. The musicians mostly prefer to go by artistic aliases, and while only sporting three permanent members, a good handful or so of additional musicians are associated with the band, making appearances as and when needed and as the circumstances call for. "Sludge and Tripe" is their debut effort, and was self-released by the band on April 1st 2010.

Analysis. "Sludge and Tripe" is an album containing just over 60 minutes of music, made and performed by a band boldly stating that they follow the principles laid down by the Rock In Opposition movement. An easy summary of this venture, and one that I surmise should find most people belonging to their core audience out surfing the internet to track down samples, a few of which are offered for free by the band, I might add. Those still reading and who would like to know more about what this is about may not end up much wiser, as words too often fail when dealing with music exploring the extraordinary realms. The musical foundation for this creation seems to be more or less equally divided between folk, jazz and punk. Additional features frequently found are funk, and elements from indie rock and post rock also pop up on occasion. And I'd be rather surprised if the central members of the band are unfamiliar with artists such as Les Claypool and Radiohead, especially in the case of the former, as the whacky tendencies he often explores musically as well as lyrically go hand-in-hand with some of the aspects of this band and this disc. Perhaps Contraption may be more influenced by dadaism as far as lyrics go, though. Compositionally we're dealing with an act fond of contrasts, often stark ones. Delightful, harmonic pastoral themes featuring gentle flutes and mellow acoustic guitars broken up by free jazz-inspired noisecapes or frenetic aggressive punk-inspired instrument blast for instance. Or laidback jazz-tinged sequences followed by heavy, gritty and often more or less subtly disharmonic funk-oriented motifs for another. Whacky vocals tend to be used for the harmonic themes and a more straightforward delivery when the musical backdrop is far inside the avant-garde realms, with many degrees of variations contained therein obviously. Moments of sheer harmonic bliss are also encountered, as well as passages of purified dissonant noise. And while generally well-made and -performed, personally I miss a more refined approach at times. The emphasis on contrast does get somewhat overwhelming occasionally for my personal taste, and rather exhausting as well. Those more accustomed to this breed of music shouldn't find this aspect to be problematic, but if you'd like to get to know this style of music I'd think that Perhaps Contraption might just be a tad too daunting for a first-time experience.

Conclusion. If you're familiar with avant-garde music, regarding Rock In Opposition as a general mark of quality and using the word challenging as a superlative when describing your favorite music, Perhaps Contraption is a band that warrants your attention, and "Sludge and Tripe" a CD that should have a strong appeal.

OMB=Olav M Bjornsen: September 5, 2010
The Rating Room


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