Friday, August 6, 2010

Review: Schnauser "The Sound of Meat"

Schnauser is a trio from Bristol, UK (Alan Strawbridge - Guitar, Vocals; Holly McIntosh - Bass; John Fowle - Drums) that plays a brand of music so refreshingly strange that it defies classification. To call them quirky doesn't quite hit the nail on the head. Their latest, "The Sound of Meat", will be available September 21, 2010, five years after the debut release, "Kill All Humans". The new album contains lyrics just as inventive as the music, covering topics such as "the inglorious fall and inexorable rise of Noel Edmonds, Steven Spielberg's lachrymose remake of 'War of the Worlds', the dualistic nature of a brace of unsettling twins, and the fleeting tribulations of a celebrity TV vagrant."

Amidst the unorthodox blend of styles, each song on "The Sound of Meat" contains at least one element of melody that demands attention. Unfortunately, the unusual arrangements and juxtaposition of styles is going to distract listeners accustomed to more traditional pop and rock. I must admit that I am in the latter category, and therefore gravitate to the more straightforward numbers, such as the spacey groove of "Cosmic Ordering Service and the Elliot Smith sound of "Nobody Loves Me". The bouncy piano and catchy melody within "Justice" showcase some Beatles influence, and the rich harmonies and textures of "Last One Picked" makes this track a standout as well.

"The Sound of Meat" is innovative and original, and not for the musically tame. If you enjoy some experimentation in your powerpop, check out the highlighted tracks - the rest are for the more adventurous listener. Schnauser is for fans of The Flaming Lips, The Shins, and Soft Machine.

iPOD-worthy: 1, 4, 8, 11

Schnauser on MySpace. Official site.

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