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Monday, July 25, 2005
  the best of the black/white bands

Black Dice: "Snarly Yow"

I’m not sure about the percussion. The last two Black Dice albums have been fairly amazing in part because of their general lack of traditional rhythm. There’s not much of anything resembling a drum sound on either of those records, but discernable rhythms nonetheless emerge from the ever-shifting textures and waves of noise and sound. "Snarly Yow", the first song from their upcoming album Broken Ear Record, begins with some untraditional rhythm, but it sounds too electronic, almost like some bad late '80's European techno. I half expect some guy to start talk-singing in heavily processed German. So initially I'm turned off. As it progresses, though, and the background sounds eventually engulf the rhythm, "Snarly Yow" starts to reel me in. But then it shifts into some pretty mundane tribal drum-circle stuff, sort of like Sunburned Hand of the Man, and although it's completely fine and enjoyable, it's slightly disappointing, coming from these guys. If Black Dice is going to start sounding like one of their peers, however inadvertently, I could think of many groups more appropriate than the hit-or-miss Sunburned Hand. Thankfully this part gets washed away by some white noise after a couple minutes, replaced by steady delay glitches and intermittent bursts of static. This last half of "Snarly Yow" harkens back to Creature Comforts, their last album, and ends the song on a relative high. From the few songs I've heard from Broken Ear Record, I'm doubtful it'll be able to hold its own against Comforts and the amazing Beaches and Canyons. I've heard slightly less than half, though, so perhaps the rest of the record will be amazingly awesome. Let's hope so. I think it comes out in September, so we've got some time to wait.
 
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