steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Rose for Bohdan

"Decoration Monster" 2CD

Deathbomb Arc Imvated Recorrds / BBPTC / Cephia's Treat / Nothing Gets Worse Than This

Genres: DIY, experimental, avant rock

PO Box 1476
Frazier Park CA
93225 USA

Sep 15 - 21 2003

As time goes on and their rapidly increasing discography gets distributed to more and more markets, Rose For Bohdan are slowly getting closer to achieving their ultimate goal: a message in their Hotmail inbox from New Order complaining about the title of their first album. But until then they'll just have to settle with regularly putting out their absolutely terrific brand of electro-indie-punk-avant-rock. Don't worry, I won't complain.

Decoration Monster is the latest chapter in their ever-growing legacy, and it's a doozy. Two discs comprise the release - one is original material, the other is mostly remixes and other assorted stuff. As usual, R4B (dig the abbreviation) is an acquired taste but one that can be incredibly satisfying to the right audience. They have an amazingly broad talent, and their music reflects it. They're never content to stick with one genre, but rather do as many as possible without ever compromising quality. My favourite part of the album is undoubtedly "Dinosaur Demon Across The World" and the two remixes of it. It starts off with a bizarre sample of someone's younger brother whining annoyingly and turns into an equally bizarre pop number. It's intentionally weird and yet bizarrely melodic. Their lo-fi noise rock tribute to mid-90s dance melodies, "Still a Favorite Among Prom Queens," is another high point; it is fun, funny, and really, really good. And it will make you climax. Figuratively speaking. Other bits of experimental sound architecture, beats, and plain absurdity are also present on the album, in all their glory.

The remixes are even more interesting. He likes of short-attention-span noise outfit Cock ESP, wacky Captain Ahab, and long time R4B pal Books on Tape hash and smash tunes from the first disc [and elsewhere] in a variety of ways. There's lots of interesting stuff being done, and it is just as engaging as a regular album. It ain't your regular "Remixes For Cash" sensibility that is evident on most remix albums.

Music fans who want a taste of the avant-underground will cry if they miss the chance to buy this album only to later hear how good it is in their neighbour's son's basement. Nobody can figure out how they do it, or what "it" is, but Rose For Bohdan have mastered it and that's enough for me.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 21 tracks, distributed by Deathbomb Arc, released 2003]