"Obscured By Clowns" CD
Temporary Residence Ltd.
Genres: progressive, math rock, instrumental rock
The Temporary Residence Ltd.
PO Box 22910
July 15 - 21 2002
no surprise that members of Rumah Sakit are also involved in bands
like Sweep The Leg Johnny and Howard Hello - much like the
critically-acclaimed Sweepers, Rumah Sakit bases their music on
frenzied, instrumental guitar/bass/drums blastscapes. This album is a
pure artifact of that, blowing past tired rock clichés with some of
the most fucked-in-the-head instrumentals on this planet.
The band crosses through both ranges of their music on Obscured By
Clowns - from slow, pondering moments to blasts of insane, angular
chaos. And despite the speed and power involved, they always seem to
know what they're doing; even at their most complex and fast-paced,
they are in pure control. And it is for that reason that they
completely blow their audience to pieces. They organize chaos; they
control power, in a way that only Godspeed You Black Emperor! can. But
where the Montreal four-piece takes their music completely seriously,
Rumah Sakit has a little bit of fun with it. Take the song titles, for
example; with names like "New Underwear Dance" and "No
One Likes a Grumpy Cripple", even their most powerful pieces seem
to have slight undertones of humour to them. Yet you wouldn't know
that without reading the back of the album, because even though they
may joke about it afterwards, the band play it like they mean it.
Take the title track, for example. It starts off with a gentle, yet
swift, guitar rhythm. Then, more guitars are slowly added, playing
complex, melodic structures. Soon the drums come in and take the song
off its rockers. As the piece progresses, it gets increasingly angular
and powerful - until it drops into a more ponderous state, and then
stops. But, alas, it's only half done - and it restarts just as soon
as it halted. The remainder of the piece spans through solemn lows and
mind-blistering highs and then slowly calms off, leaving you
completely astounded. And that's just one track. Phew.
From now on, Obscured By Clowns is going to be one of those albums
I play while sitting alone in the dark. And by golly, I've never liked
a band so much without knowing how their name is supposed to be
[Vitals: 48 min 25 sec; nine tracks; distributed by the
label; released 04/05/02]