Nerve Picnic - Factory Of Dreams

Year of Release: 2005
Label: independent
Catalog Number: n/a
Format: CD
Total Time: 70:33:00

I gotta hand it to the guys in Nerve Picnic; they made my life as a reviewer much simpler by making it really easy to describe them in a word: meandering. Kind of like how I'm writing this review, but Little Red Riding Hood was afraid of the wolf with biological weapons are thought to be developed still in some lotion smells good if not applied to the CD that I love by Mekong Delta which has songs that the integral of x is x squared over two and hello, I'm back to the review. Home run. Get the picture?

Good, but don't cream yourself yet in self-idolization, because the picture ain't complete without me telling you so. See, from the preceding paragraph, you might be all tingly with the thought that you can assume that Matt Linder, Mike O'Neal, and Bill Schaeffer are a sort of demented Mr.Bungle, jumping from one idea to the next like a train wreck on angel dust, but Nerve Picnic is really really really far from that. Instead, the unorthodox trio chooses to engage in long jams that are often intended for the listener to space out, and each track has a definite character throughout its entire duration. Basically put, the group sets into chord progressions, musical ideas, or riffs, and stays on them for a loooooooonnnnnnggggggg time, with details put on top like ice cream toppings in the form of aimless pseudo-space rock guitar solos, keyboard touches, and, most frequently, special effects like machine gun fire, piercing pulses of sound, and whoaaa, there goes Little Red Riding Hood. You missed her again. Sorry. And that, my friends, is exactly how a large part of Factory Of Dreams feels, since spacing out is so easy that one has to consciously switch back to listening mode or black out huge portions of the album.

Here you go again, ready to enjoy the fruits of self-pollution, but wait. Just because spacing out is easy doesn't mean that this album is an easy listen. It's not, unless you think quantum mechanics are the easiest thing this side of porking out on chips and soda at a Dungeons and Dragons session. For one, the effects get to be too much at one point, and simply detract from what's going on behind them, which in turn is not always very solid. For two, the production is some sort of analog pool of mud. For three, these guys are not very big on structure, which can get to be quite maddening, as on the suffocating "Rolling Blackout." And for four, hint: Little Red Riding Hood. You figure that one out.

Yet there is something strangely endearing about all this. While I can't deny that I was close to obtaining a sawed-off shotgun with the express and sole purpose of blasting Factory Of Dreams into non-existence much more than once, it ended up growing on me like a pesky, yet likeable, mold. Ok, so that was a bad analogy, but you get the point. Eventually I was able to notice the gorgeous second half of "Factory Of Dreams," which is reminiscent of late Ash Ra Tempel and sets things straight after a wrong start; the poignant nature of the piano melancholy piece "Automatic Lighthouse On A Long Forgotten Shore," even if it could have done away with much of the effect noodling; and the sparse guitar delays and voice samples that climax into interstellar takeoff on "Orbital Maneuver." Hell, I even got to enjoy "Toxic Boogie Two" somewhat (it used to drive me crazy) and the silly Forever Einstein-like humor of "Happy Hour." Even then, I'm absolutely sure that most people will find Nerve Picnic too hard of a pill to swallow, and I can't fault them. Pesky and likeable mold or not, Factory Of Dreams is too meandering for its own good, and only a select few will take to it. Unfortunately for them, chances are that they won't have the patience to sit this one out as much as I did.

Similar Artists: Ash Ra Tempel, Gong, Mushroom, Rick Ray

Punching the Clock (2:20) / Toxic Boogie Two (6:58) / Rolling Blackout (13:43) / Three Chord Jelly (5:08) / Factory of Dreams (13:45) / Sonambulist (2:19) / Orbital Maneuver (4:27) / Post Industrial Nightmare (11:58) / Automatic Lighthouse on a Long Forgotten Shore (5:45) / Factory Rebate (2:39) / Happy Hour (1:20)

Matt Linder, Mike O'Neal, Bill Schaeffer - Synthesizers, guitars, theremin, keyboards, effects, percussion

Phalanx Of Sounds (2005)
Sonaquarium (2005)
Factory Of Dreams (2005)

Genre: Other

Origin US

Added: September 19th 2005
Reviewer: Marcelo Silveyra
Artist website:
Hits: 969
Language: english


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