Toe Tappin’ Terror
There’s something a little horrifying about setting up to review a new album and noticing that even the shortest songs seem to last at least four minutes. Seriously, imagine hearing the first one off the rack, hating it and knowing that you had a solid hour of the same in front of you.
So it was really nice of Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks to make their first song good. And the next one, and the one after that – really, really nice of them, actually. Enter The Slasher House is a frenetic romp that manages to fully justify its considerable runtime.
Click play, and you’ll be greeted by some Tron-worthy powering up sounds. Sit, listen and wait for the drums to kick in. Avey Tare and co. often set a song up with similar sci-fi effects before ramming a percussion line clean through them. It’s effective, and shows some serious electronic influences behind the album. Vocals tend to be either droned or, more frequently, shout-sung in a gabbled rush. Both styles come with heavy distortion, so don’t expect to extract much lyrical meaning the first time around… or the second.. .hell, we’ll be honest, we still don’t really know what Tare is yelling about.
But it does the album no disfavors. Enter The Slasher House throws one foot-tapper after another at you. If you manage to stay completely stationary during a listen then congrats – you’re stronger than we are. So enjoy the energy of “A Sender,” “Blind Babe” and “Little Fang” (house-inspired and infectious), because the heart of the album awaits. It starts a little slow. “Catchy (Was Contagious)” is perhaps the only song that manages to overstay its welcome, but lord, the next songs make up for it.
“That It Won’t Grow” sounds like something that the Flaming Lips might pump out during a less-weird mood. Vicious and insistent, the song vacillates from sunny pop to menacing, distorted bridges. However, it’s “The Outlaw” and “Roses On The Window” that really make the album click. Both are incredibly long, and both are nearly impossible to describe. They both follow a winding, unpredictable structure-– which helps to cut the monotony factor-– and both do their best to shake a listener. It’s easy to get lost in the transitions and the blurry lyrics; don’t fight it, that’s the point. Avey Tare’s Slasher Flicks are at their best when you can ignore their weirdness and simply enjoy it. Rest assured that the album closes out quick, but take some time with these two. Get lost, enjoy.
But don’t even bother trying to figure out the damned lyrics.