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Music

Naam: The Ballad of the Starchild

Liam McManus

Brooklyn's own "modern psychedelic" band Naam releases a new EP that would've been better as a single.


Naam

The Ballad of the Starchild

Label: Tee Pee
US Release Date: 2012-05-08
UK Release Date: 2012-05-07
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The sad truth here is that there is an awful lot of fluff on the EP. As a matter of fact, just about everything besides the ten minute focal point, "The Starchild", is pretty dull and pointless. All of the slower, plodding soundscapes that appear on the other tracks are summed up nicely and neatly in that single song, making the other four tracks just seem repetitive and/or superfluous. Perhaps such an approach of stretching things out would serve better in a live setting where the tension can be continually ratcheted up. Here, though, it gets dull very fast. Furthermore, the singer tends to be stilted and flat in a number of places.

"The Starchild" itself is a semi-interesting piece of early '70s hard rock. Imagine Deep Purple getting really baked and slowing down their basic attack into something a little more mellow but no less fierce. The rest of the songs could've been left on the cutting room floor; "Exit Theme" is just a redundant organ comp, "History's Son" is an excuse to use foreign sounding instruments without doing anything interesting with them. "Lands Unknown" and "Sentry Of Skies" are essentially the same song in different time signatures, and they both fail to get off the ground.

You'll probably dig these if you're high. But if you're high, you'll probably also dig such challenging, prominent cultural touchstones as Cheetos and "Yo Gabba Gabba". All in all, it would've been much better if these guys simply held onto "The Starchild" until they had a full album's worth of material, rather than building a bunch of excessive half-songs to pad it into an EP.

3

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