Review Summary: While Lynx and Lamb may not believe that the Holocaust was "that bad", I'd rank this album right up there with such high-level atrocities on my list of "Horrible Things in the History of the Human Race". AVOID THIS ALBUM AT ALL COSTS.
There have been many notable atrocities in history. Many consider great historical events like the Inquisition and the Crusade atrocities, but the people who come up with those as the first items on their lists usually just have a problem with the Catholic Church. Saddam Hussein, Joseph Stalin, Pol Pot and other leaders who have engaged in genocide against their own countrymen usually have their actions lumped in with the rest, and can you really disagree? Even things like the Kent State Massacre get this descriptor branded upon them once in a while, and there's a strong case either way for that one. However, when putting events up there for the illustrious title of "atrocity", one of the most readily-agreed upon historical incidents would be the Holocaust of the 1930s and 40s, the details of which I'm sure I don't have to expound upon. You know the one.
Lynx and Lamb Gaede, now 14, stated a year or two ago in an interview that it probably "wasn't that bad."
The twins, Lynx and Lamb (yes, those are their real names), comprise the white nationalist Folk duo Prussian Blue released Fragment Of The Future
in 2004. Despite the fact that the girls think that the apparent and well-documented mass murder of millions of innocents was probably exaggerated and blown out of proportion, I can hardly begin to describe why I rank this album high on my personal list of atrocities, right up there with the big ones that I just mentioned. This album is flat-out awful
in every sense of the word, with nary a redeeming value about it.
Like many of us, I saw the ABC special about white nationalists and music, particularly focused on these girls and their hideous mother, the infamous April Gaede. Back before then, I'd seen the picture going around the Internet of Lynx and Lamb in their shirts emblazoned with a Hitler smiley, and for a while, I laughed along with everyone else. Watching the special on them was rather disturbing, and I don't really find the image all that funny any more. Now, it wouldn't be fair for me to start judging and grading an album based on the ideals and beliefs of those that wrote it, would it? I don't smoke weed, and disagree with the practice, but I love listening to Jam Rock. Pre-marital sex isn't something I'm terribly fond of, but most of the Classic Rock I love has lyrics that cover that topic from top to bottom. Many artists support causes that I have reservations with, but I think their music is cool and the artist entertaining. Heck, if a Black Metal song about burning churches was written with elegant poetry and had incredible guitar work, I'd give credit where credit was due.
Despite that I'm shelving my utter disgust at the girls' beliefs, I'm all for spilling out my utter disgust with the girls' musical talent. Well, rather, their lack thereof. At first, I thought this album would be laughably bad, something like, say, the Kidz Bop
series, or perhaps Janet Jackson's last few years of trying desperately to have a career. Man, I was sure disappointed to find that this wasn't the kind of album I can sit through with tears of laughter in my eyes, but rather tears of utter despair and a rising desire to shoot myself in the face and end the pain. I swear upon all that is good and holy, I had an extremely hard time just making it to track three
when I first started listening. I was planning on giving up right there and basing my review around the fact that the album was so unlistenable that I just stopped trying... but I knew better. Real
reviewers have to subject themselves to the pain, so they could verify that it does not, in fact, get better. Fragment Of The Future
should come with a free plaque sporting that famous line from "Dante's Inferno" - you know, the quote about abandoning all hope. The Gaede twins are quite simply no good at their instruments (guitar and violin). Folk music has always been about taking simple strumming and picking patterns and uncomplicated melodies and somehow making them interesting and personalized, but any and all guitar playing consists of three chords strummed in boring, samey fashion ad infinitum. There are moments when the violin playing is almost nice, but these moments are quickly spoiled when anything else happens musically
. I would even give the girls credit for singing in tune to each other if I could - but NO! I am denied one of my basic rights as a listener!
I kid you not!
There is even a spoken word introduction to "Road to Valhalla" that manages to combine the duo's lack of relative intonation with their lack of lyricism to produce something so unintentionally creepy as to be a good reason to just turn off the album right away and go do something more productive. Like playing solitaire. Or sharpening your mechanical pencils, increasing the dosage on your medication, or maybe masturbating for like two minutes to the thought of cats in a field of heather. Possibly even ice fishing
. At least ice fishing is relaxing.
Again, looking past the fact that the lyrics are mostly just propagandist and hateful, the poetry applied to delivering the message is awful. These were written by home-schooled twelve-year olds and BOY does it ever show. Everything is simplistic to the point of being brain-dead in construction, about as straightforward as the girls walking up to you and nailing a note on your forehead that says "BEING WHITE IS AWESOME. BLACKS AND OTHERS AREN'T EVEN HUMAN PROBABLY. RACE WAR, ALRIGHT, IT'S GONNA BE SOON AND WE'RE GONNA WIN. THOSE DUDES IN CHARGE OF THE NAZI REGIME WERE KINDA COOL." God-freaking-DAMMIT
, if you're going to beat me about the head with something I disagree with, at least try to add some subtlety! Why do we regard old heroes of Folk like Bob Dylan
as lyrical geniuses? Because, aside from the fact that he literally invented many rhyme schemes that are now commonly used, it takes half a bloody hour in an English class with the professor prompting the students to figure out what the hell Dylan is saying sometimes! (See: "Hard Rain", "Subterranean Homesick Blues", et al) You don't have to approach lyricism from a "let's make this impossibly cool" standpoint, but at least have the decency to approach it from any other angle then "I have an opinion, so I wrote it down and rhymed some words. It's a song now."
In summary: when you combine utterly sparse production and arrangement, vapid instrument playing, tuneless voices trying to carry a melody or two and blunt lyrics - with all parts stripped of any shred of beauty due to incompetence - you get an album that is so bad that I wouldn't even recommend you people listen to it just to hear how awful it is
. Stay the HELL away from this mess unless you really, really enjoy it when your ears bleed and the two halves of your brain look at each other and exclaim "It's dark in here, and we may die!" Do NOT scour the Internet for samples. Do NOT download this. And for the love of God, do NOT support this trash or the brat twins creating it by buying it. Not even for a frisbee. From a purely objective standpoint, there is not a thing I can find about this album that makes it even remotely worthwhile, even for purposes of comedy. Now that I've reviewed it, I'm deleting it from my computer forever so I can try to rid my mind of it and put my soul back at rest.
Also, naming your band in homage to concentration camps was only okay when Joy Division
did it, mostly because they were trying to be shocking, given their Punk and Post-Punk tendencies. Also because they didn't just plain suck. Not cool, girls. Not cool.