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   Electric  Bird  Noise   .
Electric Bird Noise: Fragile Hearts...Fragile Minds Electric Bird Noise - Fragile Hearts...Fragile Minds
CD 2007 | No More Stars 005
5 tracks, 36 minutes
$12 ($18 international)
track listing:
Thank You for Helping Me Feel Human Again, We Share More Than My Father's Last Name, Moments Like Last Night Make Me Wanna Believe in Ghost, Fall of the World Trade Center, Vestibule Transitoire
Electric Bird Noise gives us five reasons not to judge a band by any single composition you might happen to hear from them. That is to say at least on ‘Fragile Hearts...Fragile Minds,’ EBN gives us five diverse and interesting songs.
EBN is essentially the creation of Brian McKenzie whom began experimenting with loops & effects ten years ago, but over the course of many live shows and now three albums he’s developed and changed the sound of the band. In his own words Brian calls his music ‘cinematic instrumental guitar music,’ which obviously isn’t going to fully answer the question as to what this band plays.
The first song is just… odd. It’s some sort of weird electronic piece with a catchy melody to it, but it’s unfortunately only a minute in length. Track two features a memorable repetitive guitar riff melody with keyboards and effects layered over it and a brief vocal performance at the beginning. Track three features a curiously spooky sort of sounding lead synth melody with a backing drum track to it, and adds some heavier electronics in the middle and at the end. This is definitely the best this album has to offer. The fourth song features a distorted piano with some sort of backing noise, but honestly this is the albums lowest point. Finally we come to the last song, which happens to be a staggering twenty six minute ambient post rock like piece.
Collectively Fragile Hearts...Fragile Minds runs for just thirty seven minutes, and therefore you should get an idea as to how short the other songs on this album are. It’s weird because the first four or at least the first three seem like more could have been added to them almost as if they were unfinished. All in all though, EBN gives five very different compositions that are of varying quality, some great (2 & 3), some good (1 & 5), and some just bad (4).
~ Joe Mlodic, Lunar Hypnosis

Electric Bird Noise’s Fragile Hearts…Fragile Minds (No More Stars Records) is another pleasant surprise, displaying Brian McKenzie’s subtle guitar experimentalism. He seems to be determined to further develop the hypnotic minimalism and atmospheric drones of Brian Eno and Cluster and in most cases does so quite successfully. There’s a lovely directness and spontaneity written all over this album that just glides along its sad melodies but also provides a warm, dense blanket perfect for tucking you in at night. This is rich and emotional tone abstraction celebrating the fall at its very best.
~ Mats Gustafson, Broken Face

Brian Mckenzie, Rev. Doc. Scromps and Trey McMantis are three individuals behind the underground act, Electric Bird Noise, known perhaps from the regular additions to several of Silber Media’s free download compilations.
Now with their full release, Fragile Hearts…Fragile Minds we get the opportunity to examine more deeply the creative soundscape these three individuals can produce when left to their own devices.
What will be most striking at the outset is Electric Bird Noises’ seemingly rebellious stroke of idiosyncrasies, having only one track in an album consisting of five at twenty six minutes. A strange thing to note you might think but with the electronic drone/ambience EBN produce and with their ties to Silber bands such as Remora, Small Life Form and Kobi (in terms of their sound) it does come as a surprise that while peers in the similar field produce lengthy passages, here we have four tracks in unison all spanning less then eleven minutes combined.
As refreshing as this may be (though a fan of the hallmark lengthy drone track, I too can find it a tad reparative at times) it’s possible that EBN have gone too far in the opposite direction.
Take the opening track for example, ‘Thank You for Helping Me Feel Human Again’. While producing a quirky and intriguing low-fi electronica sound, the track has ended before it really begins, leaving you wondering whether you’ve pressed the stop button accidentally.
‘We Share More Than My Father’s Last Name’, meanwhile, while slightly longer in duration, suffers a similar fate, although here a more prominent, cinematic resonance is produced, having a found-sound quality to it via the slow rhythmic beatings and shaking of various unknown-to-me items.
‘Fall of the World Trade Centre’, a track expertly placed within Silber’s end of the world compilation, is, however, when the release really picks up character and dimension, using a rumbling and foreboding noise to underlay a distorted piano piece, giving the composition a sense of impending doom, an audible precursor to an expected disaster (heightened with the name of the track no less)
Finally then to ‘Vestibule transitoire’ and to perhaps where the group’s efforts are truly captured. A track that uses its eerie ambient quality and haunting distant hums to engage your attention so completely, you’ll think the rest of the album was just a daydream and this is really where it begins.
While not a terrible release, Fragile Hearts…Fragile Minds does however leave you neither wanting or interested in hearing more of their work, this simply down to the fact of just how short a creation it is, a shame given that in a live setting both their music and mise-en-scene is reputedly both captivating and hypnotic, two powerful elements sadly lacking in this attempt.
To put it as concisely as EBN’s release: don’t bother but for the last two tracks as the rest will fly by without you even noticing anyway.
~ Michael Byrne, Left Hip

Comprised of eerie, haunting minimalism, this is one of the most original, non-conforming releases of the year. Electric Bird Noise, begun by Brian McKenzie a decade ago, reaches into the most distant forms of sound made by guitar, piano and percussion. The second half of fragile hearts is a 26-minute extremely ambient reverbed piece that the History or Discovery Channel should use for documentaries about the bottom of the ocean or the origin of the solar system.
~ Kenyon Hopkins, Advanced Copy

Electric Bird Noise is een band (of toch een eenmansproject?) rond de Amerikaan Brian McKenzie en maakt, zoals men het zelf omschrijft, "cinematic instrumental guitar music". "Fragile Hearts... Fragile Mind" is het derde album en volgens bijgeleverde persinfo laat het een verscheidenheid aan muzikale stijlen zien. Curieus is dit plaatje wel, met slechts 36 minuten muziek, zeker als je ziet dat het vijfde en laatste nummer daar maar liefst 26 minuten van inneemt! De overige vier nummers komen elk in slechts enkele minuten voobij. Desondanks is dit een prettig plaatje. Het is zeker divers, het openingsnummer is een minuut van minimalistische electronica die daarna overloopt in een post rock-achtig nummer. De gitaarlead doet me verschrikkelijk aan iets denken, alhoewel de naam me blijft ontglippen (ik zie jammende Japanners voor me en denk Mogwai, Té of iets dergelijks, maar dat is het dus niet). De derde track is meer een moog-fest met droge, bijna statische (als in statische electriciteit) beats. Het vierde nummer, "Fall Of The World Trade Center" heeft blijkbaar ook op een aantal compilaties gestaan, maar ik vind het niet veel bijzonders. Nee, dan de laatste 26 minuten, "Vestibule Transitoire", wat een rustig stuk gitaarambient is met veel feedback en reverb wat alleen maar beter wordt naar het einde toe.
Je zult begrijpen uit bovenstaande omschrijving dat dit schijfje een mixed bag is, maar wat mij betreft één waar veel goeds in zit. Zij die niet vies zijn van rustigere post rock of ambient zullen hier best wat van hun gading in kunnen vinden.
~ Jaap Kamminga, IkEcht