The Child Readers: Music Heard Far Off

[19 May 2008]

By Zach Schonfeld

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.

Published at: http://www.popmatters.com/pm/review/the-child-readers-music-heard-far-off/