Review Summary: "Nothing can be done without the willingness to succeed"
Question: have you ever picked up those types of self-described ‘perfect’ albums, whether recommended from a personal friend, a music critic, or from a complete stranger, and thought to yourself, what the hell did I just purchase? And I don’t mean that in the positive, cathartic sense. You know, those types of albums that have been hyped up from day one, the kind that everyone tells you that you should have somewhere comfortably resting in your music library and right when it hits your ears it just screams to make it stop? Maybe you have, maybe you haven’t, but I find myself constantly picking up these albums that are somehow considered ‘masterpieces’ and nearly five seconds into the first song there’s my finger slamming the stop button. Without naming names, I can tell you that in my years of listening to music as a hobby this has happened so many times that I rarely venture outside of my comfortable boundaries of music to see what else is out there. Too bad for me, you say? Maybe, but it has helped me stay relatively satisfied, sonic wise. My ears don’t complain much and I find myself becoming complacent in a very positive sense. Close minded you might say and, quite frankly, I couldn’t really argue with that. Yet every once in a while my ears long for something new, something exciting and daring; a new taste that I have yet to acquire. It weighs heavily on my soul, as I have been disappointed numerous times, yet it is an inevitable feeling that eventually ends with me creating lists of bands and artists that I must get, that I must obtain. Call it a fit of hysteria if you want, but it is during these sensations that I found myself in the middle of The Olivia Tremor Controls debut album, Dusk At Cubist Castle
Obviously, in these types of fits that I go through at times, it’s easy for these newly acquired albums to start to blend like white noise, to become a cacophony of sound that screams for my attention, with my soul begging for it to stop. Yet, through all the dissonance and chaos that way erupting through my computer speakers, I found my senses returning to me and my soul quieting down to the tune of chill, quasi-psychedelic notes. Something happened in that moment, and ladies and gentlemen it’s an awesome feeling to have when you realize that an album can speak to you on such a relaxing level. Dusk At Cubist Castle
is an album that has been hyped up since day one, and has reached legendary status over the years. Incredibly, this is a factor that finds me running in the opposite direction from. Yet The Olivia Tremor Control crafted an album that speaks to just that very type of person: the skeptic, the one who doesn’t trust every classical piece of work that comes his or her way. An album that is so masterfully created that the feeling it creates is tangibly felt. ‘The Opera House’ opens up your heart strings immediately, uncurls any knots that might have been built up in you and that’s only within the first song. It’s not one of those obscure albums that require multiple listens to have the feeling of something incredible, it’s an instantaneous catharsis.
Have you ever dropped acid? If you have then I can’t say I have much in common with you but from my limited experience I can say that Dusk At Cubist Castle
is about as close to a journey through Alice’s wonderland as I’ll ever get. While the first eleven tracks of Castle takes me through a journey that be classified human for the most part, it isn’t until the Green Typewriters suite that I find myself detaching from reality. Out of body experience? Not quite, but clearly a feeling of soulful disembarkation that both haunts my very core, yet rejuvenates it beyond words. The Olivia Tremor Control are masters at atmosphere and setting that it becomes a reality to the listener while experiencing Cubist Castle. While my personal experience with psychedelics are nonexistent, I find myself somewhat more versed in that particular feeling after a trip from Green Typewriters. A truly odd feeling, yes, yet not one that draws negative connotations, cause with all drug like material comes the inevitable downer that surely follows after such an experience. As if this very feeling it one that The Olivia Tremor Control wishes to avoid, they make up for this by the following ‘Spring Succeeds’, that see’s Dusk At Cubist Castle
bringing the listener back to reality gently. Whether it’s the playful singing or the multi-instrumental work found throughout, it’s up to the listener but tracks like ‘Theme For A Very Delicious Grand Piano’ or ‘The Gravity Car’ act as both a grounder and closer to the album.
In the end, The Olivia Tremor Control keeps you firmly on terra-firma yet at the conclusion of Dusk At Cubist Castle
you find yourself satisfied from the end of a long journey. It doesn’t torture you ears like most classic works might, and it won’t take a solid amount of time to fully digest. It starts off harmless and suggestive and leaves just the same, which makes it one to keep close to you at all times. Like I said, I don’t find myself venturing too far from the confines of what I would call my boundaries, but The Olivia Tremor control is one of those albums that I would recommend for people of all tastes. Whether you find yourself in a fit of artist hysteria, or just simply curious as to what the hullabaloo is about Dusk At Cubist Castle
; whether you go into this with expectations or with none at all, you will not be disappointed. The Olivia Tremor Control doesn’t beg for your attention or scream for recognition, Dusk At Cubist Castle
simply is. Listen, I don’t know everything about themes that albums carry, it’s not what I expect when I go into albums, but something happened when experiencing this one. God knows what you might find or experience at the conclusion of this album, but I can almost guarantee you that you will most certainly be moved. Take it from the skeptic, Dust At Cubist Castle
is the definitive album that should be resting comfortably in your library, ready to be explored once again when the time comes.