Hangedup’s second album is bigger and better than the debut (which was pretty good to start with). This one is far more intense, and much better sounding.
I love the way the first song “Kinetic Work” starts out in such a fast and intense fashion and then shifts gears to a slower beat about 90 seconds in. Then it reverts back to a fast building song, growing very intense by the end. “Sink” is a scattered affair with the drums taking “lead” playing all kinds of noises and rhythms over the slow beat of the strings. “Losing your charm” is more about tone and mood—with a steady pulsing beat and ever more energetic strings. It sends a middle eastern vibe too.
“View from the Ground” brings in some more unusual sounds—very machine like (with lots of echo on the percussion). And the strings sound a bit more like guitars here. “Moment for the Motion Machine” is a 1 minute 28 second precursor to the 13 minute “No More Bad Future.” If there was ever an epic instrumental of two instruments, it is this. Like a suite from GYBE, it builds slowly with grinding viola and occasional mechanical percussion. The song changes pace and then assumes a kind of martial beat at around 5 minutes in. And then shifts gears growing more and more intense until the end.
“Motorcycle Muffler” is metallic and machine-like with interesting effects on the cool ringing tones–it sounds like he may be actually banging on a muffler. “Automatic Spark Control” starts slowly but builds aggressively with the occasional ringing note as a progress bar. “Broken Reel” ends the disc with a slow series of viola chords (and overdubs). The title implies and the song sounds like an Irish dance, and it does, but one that is well, broken and several paces too slow. It’s quite a change from the rest of the record, but it shows an expanding style and shows just how much they can do with two instruments. Hangedup is a very cool experimental band for those who like melodic noise.
[READ: May 2, 2014] “Flight”
This story is about a very stoic couple breaking up. It is narrated by the woman. She says that her husband, Allan, left her about a year ago.
When they were first together he talked about her in a way that sounded like he felt they had a cozy life,
like the castles he used to build out of straw bales when he was a boy. Inside the castle was a den in which to eat cookies and drink fruit juice while listening to the rumble of the combine in the next field. That’s what being with me was like, Allan, said.
But it seems that it was really more suffocating than cozy. Allan worked for a wind farm company and traveled the world as a technical consultant. But he never told her anything about where he went–he found it hard to describe and explain. So she eventually bought him a camera. He took pictures and sent them to her from around the world. But he got back he still had nothing to say to her.
The one place that is mentioned in the story is Dolly Sods, West Virginia, (see this cool photo to the right of Dolly Sods from Captain Kimono). [I had never heard of Dolly Sods Wilderness, but it is protected land and is described : Dolly Sods is an area of high elevation wind-swept plains on the Allegheny Plateau. At elevations of 2,600 to over 4,000 feet, the area has extensive flat rocky plains, upland bogs, beaver ponds, and sweeping vistas. The plant life and climate on this high plateau resembles northern Canada, and many species found here are near their southernmost range]. The narrator explains how there are parts of Dolly Sods that have never been touched by human hands. In the picture that Allan sent from there, he is next to a wind turbine that is going to be put up.
Then one day he states matter of factly that he needs to move out. She can keep the house. When he leaves she is understandably upset but basically seems to be waiting for him to come back–not really expecting him to, but acting as if he will. She doesn’t tell her family or anyone else. Eventually she has dinner with her parents and tells them. They are sad, but sort of quickly say that there are other men out there.
There’s a funny/sad comment about her being 16 and telling her mother that she didn’t want to have children (which they didn’t). This tied back to something her once Aunt told her: “Mom cried when she found out she was going to have me.”
There’s very little emotion in the story which I think is what was so compelling about it. Although I have to admit I’m most excited about this story for introducing me to Dolly Sods.