Call for Essays About Any Aspect of Popular Culture, Present or Past

Music

This band is almost impossible to categorize—and, for the record, that’s a good thing. With its members possessing perfect pop and indie rock pedigrees that includes previous work with the Moles and Helium, the band forges ahead and pushes the boundaries of guitar pop on their second album.


The opening track, “U.G.L.Y./Blue Funnel World,” is a discordant instrumental that provides clues to the album’s meandering exploration. Meanwhile, “My Mind Is Still Gone And I’m Not Even Fried” recalls “Blue Monday”-era New Order minus the synthesizers. It speaks well for the group’s accomplished musical chops and instincts that they are able to wring strong hooks out of nontraditional chord progressions and the occasional atonal melody. And just when you think Blue Funnel World is walking the purely experimental route, you get a couple of songs with the jangle-popiness of R.E.M. and Game Theory (“Home With Me Tonight” and “Labotomy” among others). Recorded as a personal response to Brian Eno’s Another Green World and drawing from more contemporary influences like Red House Painters, Blue Funnel World is an adventurous release that avoids all traces of the sophomore slump.

Rating:

Sarah Zupko founded PopMatters, one of the largest independent cultural criticism magazines on the web, back in the Internet's early days of 1999. Zupko is a former Executive Producer for Tribune Media Services, the media syndication arm of the Tribune Company, and a 10-year veteran of Tribune. Her other pursuits involve writing historical fiction and research in the fields of Slavic and German history, as well as general European cultural and intellectual history. Zupko studied musicology, film, and drama at the University of Chicago and media theory at the University of Texas, where she received her M.A.


Comments
Now on PopMatters
PM Picks
Announcements

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

PopMatters is wholly independently owned and operated.