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From here the album is washed over in a pixelated aurora borealis, which competes for nearly three minutes against steel brackets that attempt to contain it. This being the third song of disc two, “Press: Tattle-Tape,” the band’s tone poem musing on a culture of mass surveillance and spectacle. With a roll and quivering drone to Heath’s voice, the tune drifts along with a slush and spun mantra of:
With a yank of the wires Mireille pulled the little stereo buds from her ear canals and let them drop to the laminate table top. For the moment she felt bored by her favorite album by what was then her favorite band. While at the time she was yet to be so heavily embedded in the wireless two-way access and feed of such things, Mireille’s opinion was still much in line with those of the dominant music journalists of “Alt-Culture” at that time. Much of that year’s accolades and critical praise would be heaped upon […]Phantom Limbs[…]. Yet, even those that gave it perfect stars and the top spot on year-end review lists were sure to use the term “self-indulgent” in their opinion columns.
Coinciding with the album’s release on October 24th the prior year, deputy music editor James DePrecato wrote a piece of criticism for Turn-Turn Magazine entitled “Baroque or Bloat.” In this four out of five star review he wrote:
For all of its synthesized ornaments and gloom, Locust Mirror’s last LP, The Misshapen Pearl was still anchored in enough racket to still sell as a fairly standard rock album. Here in the substantial bulk of their new record the band has been uprooted to flail about countless styles, some pleasant, lenient, and wholly mesmerizing, others odious in their sincerity, or worse when occasionally the indulgences plunge into self parody. And yet for all its theatrical abandon, Phantom Limbs (etc. etc. etc.) is one of the finest double albums to be released on the marketplace by any artist in quite some time. Here you have a rare epic that is actually supported by its content.
From here the review careens off into some digression on former Mayor John Lindsay’s Fun City era New York, White Flight, and this quote by French poet Stéphane Mallarmé: To name an object is to suppress three-fourths of the enjoyment of the poem, which is composed of the pleasure of guessing little by little: to suggest…that is the dream. All that before concluding with: “From its sepulchral folk to the fluid-fuzz of its ambitious ballads this is the work of a group resolute in pursuing any and every artistic impulse…wherever they might lead. But above all that it is a triumph of the will and imagination.” But still it was there, “self-indulgent.”
“Well,” Mireille would later question, “what act of creation in this world couldn’t be rerouted back and subjected to that snub? Even charity. Even community. ”
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