Call for Music Writers... Rock, Indie, Urban, Electronic, Americana, Metal, World and More

Music
cover art

The Child Readers

Music Heard Far Off

(Soft Abuse; US: 22 Apr 2008; UK: Available as import)

Avant-garde sound-manipulators The Child Readers seem utterly determined to distance themselves from potential listeners. Indeed, the music is aimless, formless, and abstract—that’s kind of the point. But what’s more disturbing is how much the band’s promotional opportunities keep with this theme: their MySpace page is impenetrably vague at best, and the album’s sprawled handwritten font is mostly illegible. Fitting, I guess, for an album in which a semi-coherent voice mumbling atop tuneless acoustic noodling is the preferred norm (see: “Young Worlds - Try To Hear!”, “A Tree Waits”, “Starlight Veering”). Throw in some ambient whirring sounds and noisier tracks for good measure (mixed in mono, no less), and you’ve got Music Heard Far Off. I have nothing against fuzzy, half-formed sound experiments (or avant-pastiche “metaphysical improvisation and meticulous composition”, as their pretentious description suggests), but The Child Readers fail to mold their sounds into anything memorable—instead, it just sounds half-assed and incomplete. Skip this one.

Rating:

Zach Schonfeld is an associate editor for PopMatters and a reporter for Newsweek. Previously, he was an editorial fellow at The Atlantic Wire and graduated from Wesleyan University, birthplace of Das Racist, MGMT, and the nineteenth-century respiration calorimeter, where he served as the editor of Wesleying, a popular student-life blog. In his spare time, he enjoys visiting presidential birthplaces and teaching his dog to tweet. In addition to PopMatters, his writing has appeared online at Rolling Stone, TIME, Consequence of Sound, The Nation, USA Today College, The Columbia Journalism Review, The Rumpus, Paste Magazine, and the Hartford Courant. He can be reached at zschonfeld(at)gmail(dot)com or on Twitter @zzzzaaaacccchhh.


Media
The Child Readers - Starlight Veering
Comments
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements
PopMatters' LUCY Giveaway! in PopMatters's Hangs on LockerDome

© 1999-2014 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters.com™ and PopMatters™ are trademarks
of PopMatters Media, Inc.

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.