steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Lil' Pocketknife / BARR

Split 7"

Deathbomb Arc

Genres: experimental rock, lo-fi, dance

Oct 4 - 10 2004

With this split, Deathbomb Arc has unearthed two acts from the wacky new underground dance movement, that new scene dedicated to bringing us indescribable rock/electro/pop/whatsit oddities that are fun to dance to (or, in some cases, gape and stare at).  The songs' longetivity is not their most important aspect, but the music is instead very much "in the moment," most successful on stage or at a party.

Lil' Pocketknife is the act here I'm most familiar with, as I was fortunate enough to hear singer Kristy's work with DJ Shitbird.  Their side of this record is particularly successful, combining cute keyboard chimes with simplistically funky rhythms and unique rap-singing.  "(do the) do a dance" is a revelation - it is funny, catchy and surprisingly danceable (ALL IN ONE!)  The formula is easy, but the cheery spirit and groovy hipness spell success.  "Dragon Slayer" is also fun, but less memorable due to a not-nearly-as-interesting keyboard part.

BARR (né Brendan Fowler) is the other side's attraction, and he's a spoken word cum rapper with a unique approach.  He talks about "the human condition" in a poetic and somewhat rhythmic manner while drumbeats and minimal bass/melody play in the background.  It's a neat novelty - nothing great - and the entertainment you derive from it will depend on your affinity for the bizarre lyrical fare.  This is beatnik poetry for the new generation; BARR talks about psychological disorders, popular music, and, of course, himself.  Understandably, you may require a few listens to "get" it all.

All in all, this split is fun, though it's definitely a niche thing.  I'd say it's worth it if you dig really weird rock music, though it's probably best live.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 5 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2004]