Saturday, December 4, 2010
Little Fyodor - Peace is boring
The resurrected &etc has, for the last few months, eschewed images. This has mainly been laziness, compendium reviews where there would be too many images, and a desire for a cleaner line. Little Fyodor demands a picture - he is a persona of Dave Lichtenberg, who has been making music for a while (thanks wikipedia), and the look is indicative of the music. This is the cover of Peace is Boring - on the website there are also many photos, and the the impression is of someone doing their best to look wacky/zany/nerdish. Anyway, this album from Public Eyesore (PE111) fits with their history of being a broad church which offers an outlet for 'outsider' art (not sure if Fyodor is, or is role playing, the outsider status)
Anyway, the music's the thing...
The album opens with a rewriting of Both sides now - Death sides now which is taken into dark places with subtle orchestration. The voice is strange - a strangled, twisted things that jumps around: perhaps Weird Al taken to another level? From here the voice is matched by the music, a hooky driving punkish rock drive, over which Fyodor's singing runs amok. The titles of songs suggests the lyrical direction: All my clothes are uncomfortable, Everybody's sick (which lists all the people/things that are sick), Cruising (bummer scene) (again with a darker tone to the music, but without obvious lyrical relationship to the title), Death wish (antiwar).
On a number of songs he is joined by Babushka (who also plays keyboards) - a cover of Open up your heart (and let the sunshine in), The god gripe song (which segues from Wonderful world to a list of things god's got wrong, such as why did you make the mosquito) and the canonical Boots. First time I listened I thought that the strangled female vocals was another Fyodor personality - but there are pictures of the Babushka on the web site and on the inner cover: but it still sounds like him to me.
The musicianship on the album is excellent - there are touches of synth and processing (in the closing sing-a-long, for example), and the band rocks out some very nice pop/rock. The songs have great hooks and it is quite a catchy album - all you have to do is accept the extreme melodramatic, strained vocals. Which can be worth it as it is really a fun album.