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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Lower Dens - Twin-Hand Movement: B

Lower Dens don't know how to end a song, nor do they really know how to start one. Nothing on Twin-Hand Movement, the band's debut album, is particularly satisfying, and I believe that is because Lower Dens has very little regard for following any real convention of songwriting. Although I can be quoted as regarding this quality as good, the result of Lower Dens' salutary neglect is a patchwork of decent to great ideas, but that's all they ultimately become: Ideas. A bassline usually sets the groundwork for the guitarists to noodle at their free will in individual speakers while the singer enunciates unintelligible phrases. Before you know it, the song's over without so much as a heed for dynamics or purpose. Take the song "A Dog's Dick" for example. My thought is that Lower Dens jammed around two and a half minutes of a repeating phrase and, during Twin-Hand Movement's mixing, the band decided, "Aww fuck it. Call it 'A Dog's Dick'" to make up for the fact that listeners will never again see those two and a half minutes of their lives.

Not exactly a ringing endorsement. Still, I think that Twin-Hand Movement shows Lower Dens has the potential to make material of better quality. The album's production is impeccable, allowing every instrument just enough sonic room to breathe and perform, however misguided or meandering those performances may be.

So this is the part when I tell you that I would recommend this album if you wanted something decent to fill silence while you read or ate cereal, but I could name you ten albums from this year alone that could do that job to a much better degree. Twin-Hand Movement receives a rating of above average by the sole virtue that it sounds quite nice; not that it adds anything remotely interesting to your life.


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