Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Music Review:
Fairuza Balk
"All Lives Madder, Part 1"

$4 to Download //
https://fairuzabalk.bandcamp.com/album/all-lives-madder-part-1 //

Fairuza Balk is an actress perhaps best known for her role in "The Craft" though I feel like I will always relate her more with "The Waterboy" and her connection to music could be that she was also in "Almost Famous".   I know that musicians like to name their musical projects after actors so I'm never going to really question *why* they do or what the meaning is for them but I think that in this particular case it would have been fun to use the name "Unfairuza Balk", though in all fairness, yes, slightly altering a name (Even making an electronic project called "Ronald Raygun") seems to be done a lot.

"All Lives Madder, Part 1" begins with a track called "Tab1e of C0ns+ants".   There is this soft, acoustic strumming with vocals that begins the song.   It's peaceful, relaxing even.   It puts the mind at ease.   This blends into an audio clip with someone (Who sounds like Paul Rudd) explaining how he saw a kid two or three weeks ago who looked like he was fourteen years old with a gunshot wound.   It basically goes on to explain how this apartment complex was shut down because of it.   Louder, electric guitar strums get blended in with singing now.   There are three layers to this at one point, but mainly it sticks to one or two only.

Acoustic guitar loops return to put the otherwise harshness of the first track to rest.   I don't think of this so much as being a verse/chorus/verse song, but rather it has different movements to it.   The audio clip says "I mean, it's a great neighborhood" before we switch over to a heavier, almost industrial sound to begin the next song.    A brief audio clip takes us back into that singing + acoustic guitar which reminds me of somewhere between The Lyndsay Diaries and Animal Flag.   The fact that these acoustic pieces are being coupled with other elements they usually tend to not be around makes this unique to say the least.

"I'm a strong believer in Christianity and religion"... oh, if only they were the same thing.   Acoustic strums and drum beats bring out audio clips about Black Lives Matter.    It's odd for me to hear this and think about how much it has been turned into a political issue- a Republican vs. Democrat issue- when it's so much bigger than that.   It really makes me sad for this country but I believe more people need to speak up about it (Unfortunately a lot who do are silenced in various ways)

"H0nky T0nk" does not disappoint with that acoustic guitar riff that could be thought of as country, some distortion and it just has that sound of someone driving down the road.   Singing returns and this feels like a somewhat tradtional song and I really enjoy it.   In some ways it feels like it's sending a message by saying that if you don't think Fairuza Balk can write a song which is structured how you tend to think of songs as being structured, this is proof that it is possible.

"B100d & S01L" opens up with another audio clip about Jesus.   This album does enjoy referencing politics and religion and why not since the USA seems to be all about them now moreso than ever before.   The audio clip leads us into another acoustic strum song with vocals.   It has a dreamy bedroom quality to it as "This land is your land" and other words are sung about this country, which I feel would have been cheesy some years ago but right now only seems fitting.   We need to rise up and take this country back and wonder why those with the most power don't seem to represent the masses.

The idea that "All Lives Madder" suggests that either we are mad in the sense that we went crazy or we are mad in the sense that we are angry.   I think it's a little bit of both.  When you watch the news you can't help but feel a little bit crazy.  Anger is easy, but you sometimes feel like... You know, you think "Is this really happening?"  And I think these songs are a good reflection on all of that and something we should all take into consideration right now when it matters most.

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