Thursday, June 26, 2014

CASSETTE REVIEW: Kamrar “Glullings” (Warm Gospel)

            I first heard Kamrar on a split with Lost Trail, which at the time I downloaded from Centipede Farm and thought only “Well, I’ll give this a listen before buying the cassette since it’s a name your price download”.    Little did I know at the time that split would send me spiraling into a world not only with Centipede Farm, but also with the two bands that were split, which then branched me off in several other directions as well.

            What happens on “Glullings” is divided by the two sides, as these things usually tend to go that way, but then it is also divided into songs on each side.   When the cassette first starts, there are strings being portrayed as ambience and within their melodies are loops.   It is this pattern which gives way to a particular sound that I can only identify with a baby mobile (You know, the thing you hang above a crib, not some sort of apparatus made out of tiny humans)

            Through some static whirrs, strings make their way back into the fold only this time they sound like that one instrumental Blue October song that I don’t know the name of but it’s one of the last tracks on their live double album.    The piano comes in and reminds me of one of my first loves in instrumental music: The Cancer Conspiracy.   It’s funny how this begins to sound more like an instrumental band that something closer to noise.

            Why that is interesting to me- or funny- is because it is Side B that begins with some ambient Lord of the Rings type sounds before getting into the piano of doom and eventually an acoustic guitar putting folk-sounding notes on a loop.    It is within Side A that I begin to see this come out, but by Side B this has more qualities of an instrumental band than anything in the genre of noise/ambient and even experimental.   Thankfully, it doesn’t get too ambitious and cross into math rock.

            The overall feel of these songs- of this entire cassette- is one of pure beauty.   It’s raw and it’s real.   It’s a woman who doesn’t wear makeup.  It’s wearing your heart on your sleeve, no matter how much of a cliché that is to say.   It’s pointing out that is a cliché to say.  It’s honesty.   But also, it’s the wounds.   It’s the scars that don’t heal.   Underneath surface of this natural beauty there is sadness, and I just find that to be such an accurate portrayal of anyone who has truly experienced life.  

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