Review Summary: 'In Search of The...' starts to get weirder with Volume VIII, for better or for worse.
Dismantling 'In Search Of The...'
I'm not even going to bother introducing 'In Search Of The...' any more. By now, you must get the gist: 13 CDs, bla bla bla. Anyway, this is Volume VIII (AKA 8) from the boxset, and is a fairly odd addition to the pack. The majority of this album is taken up by weird experimental/ambient excursions, while some funk and rock influences are present as well. While one of the odder volumes overall, it isn't bad at all.
starts this volume out. It is the mellowest song on this album, and one of the most straight forward. It is a clean guitar playing over a bass and drum backing track. While exceeding the 10-minute mark, this song manages to keep things fresh with the connected but different guitar lines, and while the bass and drums mainly stick to the main beats, the drums do bust out a fill here and there. A very good song overall. The Orpington
is next, and sounds like a song that was made, and then had everything but the guitar track put into a blender, then flushed down a toilet. At least during the middle section of this song. The first part is a quiet drum and bass part with a funk-y, almost Western-sounding guitar on top. Some solo guitar-playing is heard, and then comes a cool guitar line with quiet cymbals in the background. 15 seconds of silence ends off this track.
A Day In The Park With Herbie
starts off explosively- after the fairly quiet The Orpington
, this is like a punch in the face. The first half of this song is a cool jam, and then the other half of the song transcends into madness, with the sounds of a cuckoo clock and weird guitar noises that sound like whimpering and screaming. Eventually, the main part from the beginning comes back on with the sound effects overtop. This is a cool track. Switch Way
is a nearly 10-minute song that starts out with a cool drum fill (you'll be noticing more and more of these opening drum fills as you progress through the set) and blasts into an energetic funk jam. There is some great guitar-playing on this song, with the guitar changing tones from a muffled, earnest-sounding tone into an acidic distortion.
has an interesting drumbeat and keyboard-line at the beginning of it, with some great melodic guitar-playing coming in between the main parts. Eventually, the riffs change into some more epic-sounding ones, and there is a clean guitar solo on this song that is fantastic. It ends with 12 seconds of silence, and I wish this song went on for a bit longer. Wire Bop Pumpkin
is a fairly interesting interlude, but ultimately feels kind of useless, mainly because of its length and the fact that it sounds similar some of the other tracks on this volume. Captain Kangaroo's Ether Hypnosis
is the next song, and this is a weird experimental ambient song that remains almost exactly the same the whole time. This is one of those songs that is great for having in the background as, say, trick-or-treaters come to your door on Hallowe'en, but isn't terribly interesting to listen too.
In Search Of The Bigeminy Junction
is the closest thing to a title track in the set, and it is an experimental jam, featuring a muffled drumbeat with an oddly toned guitar jamming on top. It almost sounds like a combination of robotic and Chinese. This is an interesting jam with some good lines here and there, but it ultimately falls kind of short. Cybernetic Chickenheads & The Scavenger Slunk Run
is the final song on this volume, and is another experimental track. It features a guitar doing some runs all over the place while drums play seemingly at random. It ends with a fast guitar run, which I'm assuming is 'The Scavenger Slunk Run.' Great title aside, this song is weird, but good- even if it feels like it doesn't live up to its potential.
Overall, this is a good volume of 'In Search of The...' If you're buying these one a time, don't buy this one first, as it is mostly experimental stuff that many will find too abrasive. However, I enjoy it, it just isn't the best volume. This volume is really when things start to get weirder and more experimental, but it isn't the pinnacle of those said things- that's still to come.