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- The Just-World Phenomenon
MP3 EP 2015 | Silber 177
5 tracks, 5 minutes
: Press Release
: Digital Booklet
‘The Radiation Isn’t An Anomaly, It’s The Clue’
Velocity Of The Bedroom
Stay Forever, My Love
LD Beghtol has a wonderful habit of making me think.
When I read the title of Beghtol’s new EP with his latest project, ld&co – The Just-World Phenomenon – I immediately thought of the philosophically suspect just-world hypothesis, which posits that all righteous actions are ultimately rewarded and all evil actions are ultimately punished.
But to hypothesize the existence of a just world is to fallaciously and illogically assume the presence of a universal force (or god) that eventually restores moral balance.
On The Just-World Phenomenon, Beghtol (formerly of Flare and Moth Wranglers, among many other bands) and his cohorts in ld&co call bullshit on this whole just-world business (or do they? See below.). If Kierkegaard were a Dadaist in his attack on Hegel’s system, his books would read something like ld&co’s music sounds.
Opening track “Devices” begins with a seeming multitude of voices that repeats the words “spectacles, testicles, wallets, watch,” which poke fun at the act of genuflection. Then the song morphs into a noisy guitar riff, over which Beghtol sings a beautiful but brief melody. The contrast is jarring but necessary, setting up art as the enemy of strict adherence to religious dogma. The track dismantles the just-world theory in a brief 1:27.
The next two tracks – “Chance Encounter” and “The Radiation Isn’t an Anomaly, It’s the Clue” – clock in at 0:31 and 0:22 respectively. The former, filled with electronic blips and chaotic voices, critiques the evil that testosterone-filled bros do. Continuing the Dada, ld&co splice in words such as “metaphor” and “simile” to deconstruct the pick-up lines spoken by a couple of bros, with the result of revealing their ignorance. It’s a fun way to make a social commentary. It made me think of Foucault’s This Is Not a Pipe and Burroughs’ “Nova Trilogy.”
“The Radiation Isn’t an Anomaly, It’s the Clue” is another heavy guitar track with lovely vocals (performed by Bethany Morrow), an off-kilter melody, a cool arrangement, and some terrific drumming and percussion. The word “Clue” in the title intrigues because it – like the second section of “Devices” – indicates that the very women the bros of “Chance Encounter” disrespect have the power to provide a cohesive narrative (or a great pop song). The bros need to be clued in to what Morrow and the rest of ld&co have to say.
In addition, “Clue” serves as a short bridge into “Velocity of the Bedroom,” which is pure pop heaven. But I don’t mean the kind of dogmatic Heaven in which the bros and many just-world folks probably believe. No, “Velocity of the Bedroom,” despite its catchiness, is the kind of tune that would freak out the bros. Beghtol sings an indelible melody over some sweet chords and great harmonies about what happens when “Boy meets boy.” The lyrical double-entendres and vocals are Morrissey-worthy, as is the song’s ironic ending.
ld&co close off the EP with “Stay Forever, My Love.” As Beghtol croons lyrics that announce that he and his lover “are together,” with spoken-world samples and odd noises floating behind him, he becomes a postmodern Frank Sinatra.
Is Beghtol sincere? Is “Stay Forever, My Love” more Dada? I can’t tell – and that’s a good thing.
Perhaps ld&co have created an alternative just-world phenomenon, as their title would seem to indicate. Or perhaps the Dada reigns supreme.
I don’t know the answer. But what I do know is that, as usual, Beghtol has me thinking. And if you get your hands on the wonderful The Just-World Phenomenon, you’ll be thinking too.
~ Paul Gleason, Stereo Embers
Continuing with Silber’s 5in5 EP series, here is a collection of fuzzy pop tunes mixed with bedroom noise experimentations from 7 piece LD&Co. Continuing with the series’s theme, there are 5 songs that go for a total of 5 minutes.
Devices begins with the words “spectacles, testicles, wallet, watch” being repeated over before a slow indie / grunge sound wharfs over. Chances encounter is a 30 second country style offering. Starting with some puns around poetry devices it rushes away so quickly that I hadn’t even finished writing this before the next song came on. The radiation isn’t an anomaly, it’s a clue, is a short and sweet Blonde-esk tune that races past quicker than it takes to say the song’s title. Velocity of the bedroom is the longest track on offer and by far the most complete. Sounding like a shoegazery version of They Might Be Giants it drifts along nicely with some pleasant guitar sound sand cool and calm duel vocals. Stay forever, my love is a slow, and dark acoustic tune that acts as a kind of warm down to the record.
This is a decent offering that crams in a lot of sounds, styles, and ideas. It certainly leaves you wanting more with each track feeling like it could be extended to be much much longer. However, in terms of meeting the challenge of 5 songs in 5 minutes this release more than delivers.
And now for the latest batch of 5×5 releases from the much admired Silber Media stable, you might recall that this is an ongoing project whereby selected artists are invited to contribute 5 one minute tracks for digital release, the current season of featurettes comprising of 5 (yes we are getting on to the 5 theme here) ear candy honed lovelies starting with id&co who are headed up by moth wrangler LD Benghtol and excel in the kind of lo-fi’d power pop crookedness that was once the celebrate trademark of those who initially pioneered and defined the classic Elephant 6 sound (see of montreal, apples in stereo, Olivia tremor control et al). opening to the confusion of cross wiring messages ‘devices’ briefly emerges sparingly hinting at a brief glimpse of too cool for squares glam psych grooving while somewhere else ‘velocity in the bedroom’ comes marooned and traced upon a becoming 50’s teen ached bubble grooving recalling vaguely the short heart stopping acute prickling pop verve of the Pooh Sticks. The hollowing ‘stay forever, my love’ rounds out the set replete in a distressed sepia framing though all said it’s ‘the radiation isn’t an anomaly, it’s a clue’ that stole our hearts and minds with its dislocated fuzzing feedback kick to head – think upon it as bitter sweet dark variant of the much loved Morton valence.
~ Mark Barton, The Sunday Experience