steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
blankred.jpg (4669 bytes)
info opinion

Various Artists collaboration

"Nightmare Variations" CD

Secret Decoder Records

Genres: experimental rock, indie rock

Jul 21 - 27 2003

Nightmare Variations is a five-track collection of long songs created, edited, and mixed in a bizarre collaborative project that is explained in better detail than I could ever give here. The results of a long, year and a half process combing the talents of Michael Catalano, DW Dunphy, Michael Finnerty, Inbal Kahanov, and Justin Vellucci are powerful musical pieces that rely largely on the guitar. The second track is an excellent example; its spacey guitarwork is heaven to the ears, be it a semi-metal solo or delicate, folk-esque strumming. There is lots of instrumentalism on Nightmare Variations, although that is not to say there aren't vocals. The third track, for example, is a simple guitar-and-voice pop tune. A rare treat is the end of the fourth track, which skims through a bunch of segments of songs like somebody rapidly surfing the channels on a television.

Altogether, this is a very well-executed project; it's clear that there is a lot of talent being displayed on Nightmare Variations. Although the songwriting is definitely rich in melody, it would be a stretch for the average person to listen to this album more than a few times. Pop songs can only be long if they're jam-packed with melody; Nightmare Variations is just a bit too drawn-out.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 5 tracks, distributed by the label, released 2003]