Windmill Moth Glue is a trio from Liverpool, and this is their debut release. It was recorded within two days using a four-tracker, cruddy guitar and amps, as well as a toy keyboard, metal bins, drums, and a pair of headphones serving as microphones with distortion. The album is currently out only as a free download, but will later be released as a CD-R with some extra goodies through the label "Ants and Earwigs."
The band's music is a mash-up of experimental, childish and even annoying sounds and simplisticicity that's been pushed through a filter of lo-fi noisiness and cabin fever. The intro "Syrup Moon" is pretty minimalistic and peaceful, but the first real track with its brisk wooden-sounding drums, layers of cheap synths and distant howls lets the listener know that this album will deliver something special. The following two tunes take the concept further, and I'm pretty sure that many of you initially listening to the album will push the stop-button somewhere around the mix of soft electronic drone, improvised-sounding and misplayed soft drums and a looping, almost headache-inducing synth melody in "Teddy Bear Swamp March." I can't deny, it took me quite a few listens to listen through the album with concentration involved. The noisiness gets taken further on "Sperm Town," which relies on a slow pace, screeches and, again, some electronic synths that execute lenghty layers of discords. It has a bit of a guitar here and there bringing some sense to the composition, but the overview is noisy and illogical, even hostile in a way.
The album relies on the same gimmicks throughout it's lenght; the songs are rhythmic, partly very clearly improvised, the patterns and riffs are mostly childish and the overall feel is somewhere around annoying. There are still reasons to listen to this album, as the actually composed (or composed-sounding) parts are really effective despite their utter simplisticity. The synth repetition teams up with the lo-fi percussions in a catchy yet unpredictable way, and the guitars and other more organic touches bring some additional strenght and liveliness to the whole. The screeching vocals are a nice add, too, and blend in seamlessly amidst the instruments. The moments that rely more on the jamming drone, for example the song "Sperm Town," are less effective as they often lack content, cohesion and drive.
I may not be making much sense, but neither is the album. The songs have strong points and weak points, but most of the time it's difficult to tell them apart. If it's playfully childlike or downright annoying, or simple-yet-effective or unimaginative might wholly depend on the moment you're listening to the album. I also noticed that you really should listen the album right from the beginning to its end, as it takes a while to get used to the crude soundscape.
My main problem with the album, in addition to the slightly too painful soundscape, is it sounding like a jamming session instead of a proper recording one. It has quite a few proper and good-quality ideas and twists, but the whole is just too lenghty and messy for them to really shine. The album is partly worth even an eight, whereas many parts are worth less than a six - hence the low-ish grade. I think the band has a lot to work on when it comes to better executing their ideas if they want to make their next effort more worthy, but at least now they have something to build on.
To find out if you belong to the band's core audience, check out their video for the song "Grandpa Satan."