A Heft of What, Exactly?
MGR (Mustard Gas and Roses), the instrumental side project of Isis guitarist Michael Gallagher, recently released their sophomore album Wavering on a Cresting Heft. Given Isisâ€šÃ„Ã´ progressive taste and place on obscurity expert Mike Pattonâ€šÃ„Ã´s Ipecac Records, one might expect something out of the ordinary when preparing to listen to it. Unfortunately this is a meandering mess of an album no matter how open-minded one is going into it. The opener â€šÃ„ÃºAllusionsâ€šÃ„Ã¹ glides effortlessly into the next track â€šÃ„ÃºIt Darkens His Doorâ€šÃ„Ã¹ but merely because the bass line is the same. A distorted guitar playing the same simple note sequence is incorporated to differentiate it from the last track. The plucking gets a little more interesting during the third track â€šÃ„ÃºRuminations of Beforeâ€šÃ„Ã¹ but ultimately remains very similar and continues this way through the next two tracks. The entire album sounds this way, like song intros that never get to actual songs. The notes are occasionally pretty but never quite become melodies. The closer â€šÃ„ÃºAnd it Falls, by the Gallonsâ€šÃ„Ã¹ boasts some actual guitar strumming, which is the most talented moment on the album.
So many possibilities exist for such a talented musician as Gallagher and yet this album mainly consists of a few plucked notes over a very simple bass line. Wavering on a Cresting Heft is essentially one long, simple song that never ends. It could be great to fall asleep or mediate to, but not much else.