Review Summary: I don't understand
It is my firm belief that music is supposed to take you on a journey. It is supposed to make you feel, no experience, something. Music can be fun and danceable, or it can be dark and oppressive, it can be quiet and meditative, or it can be violent and explosive, it can be relaxing, happy, sad, angry, fun, or energetic. If music doesn't make you feel something it fails.
Everyone was calling F♯ A♯ ∞ the soundtrack to the apocalypse; an atmospheric journey through the end of the world. Now I love darker music because I feel melancholy atmospheres are more powerful and emotive. I wanted to hear what this amazing album that promised to be a dark and unforgettable journey was all about.
That being said, it took me a while to muster up the courage to listen to F♯ A♯ ∞. I was afraid the long songs and generally aimless approach to songwriting I had heard from other post-insert-genre-here bands would combine to make some agonizingly boring songs.
I was right.
That's not to say that the album as a whole is extremely boring, or that being boring is the biggest offense of this masterpiece. No, F♯ A♯ ∞ can be quite good at times. About ten minutes into East Hastings
is extremely good. The melody is truly dark and engrossing for a few minutes before it ends and reverts to the boring white noise and choppy arpeggios that came before it.
As I said earlier, the long boring, aimless songs aren't the biggest problem with F♯ A♯ ∞. No, later in East Hastings
the album takes a turn for the worst. After the choppy arpeggios fade into the background we are met with more white noise that becomes increasingly 1. loud 2. high pitched 3. obnoxious. At the end it sounds like a goddamn mosquito is flying in your ear. How is this enjoyable to anyone? I legitimately don't understand how anyone could be so in love with this album after it gives you a head-splitting headache like that.
I honestly couldn't even think of anything to say about The Dead Flag Blues
even while I was listening to it because nothing happens that is even worth paying attention to for its entire sixteen minutes of wasted play time. The beginning of East Hastings
isn't any better the middle is great, and the end is the worst ***ing thing ever. Providence
is full of great ideas that work really well until they don't. Which brings me to my biggest complaint.
Even the good parts of the album aren't really sure where they are going. About ten minutes into Providence
a riffs that was building abruptly ends with no payoff whatsoever. One awkward transition later and we are listening to something completely different that isn't anywhere near as interesting or engaging. Which is then followed by another build that would be great if it went somewhere before being awkwardly replaced with a different musical idea. Followed by complete silence for what feels like forever. If I knew I could literally record complete silence and be praised for it I would have a long time ago.
F♯ A♯ ∞ is more frustrating to me then anything the aforementioned middle of East Hastings
and large sections of Providence
are actually pretty good. But to get to these diamonds in the rough you have to sit through the rest of the album which is incredibly boring at best and more annoying than a crying baby at worst.