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  Untitled Split Release  
  Monster Movie and Dreamend  
Release Date:
Reviewed by:

This split releases comes to us courtesy of the fine folks at Graveface Records, who have a poorly maintained Flash-based website, so i consquently know little about them. No matter. This release combines Dreamend, a Chicago post-rock act (owners of the label? friends of the owners? who knows!), with Monster Movie, which you will remember is the post-Slowdive act of Christian Savill.

Monster Movie start this CD off with two tracks. The first is called Beautiful Arctic Star, and is a nice little tune. It is humbly constructed out of a sinple drum machine beat with pulsing bass rhythms and tinkling starlight keys all underneath Savill singing the title over and over again. (Actually, he might sing something else too at some point, it's hard to tell....) It's very catchy, subtly so. That is, when listening to it you think "this is a nice enough song". Then you find yourself singing "Beautuiful my arctic star" as you drive to school, and later you wake up in a cold sweat at 3 AM after a nightmare in which your cats were skittering around singing "Beautiful my arctic star" in two-part feline harmony. So: it really gets under your skin. And, i guess, that's something.

Monster Movie follow that up with Nobody Sees, which is a pleasant tune of piano, harmonica, and lo-fi voice. The harmonica makes it seem sadder than other Monster Movie tunes.

Then the CD ends with three tracks by Dreamend. Or, one song by Dreamend spread over 3 movements, one CD track per movement. I think. Really: their half of the CD blends into one holistic post-rocking experience. The piece is called ...ellipsis..., and on the whole it is pretty good. Dreamend are from the instrumental Mogwai vein of post-rock. This piece is similar in general sound and nature to music by Gwei-Lo, Explosions In The Sky, Mogwai, and Tristeza. If you like the output of those bands, you will enjoy ...ellipsis....

Otherwise though, really, it doesn't do much to further diversity within that genre. It is pretty typical, and not to say that's bad, but it doesn't really scream out with crossover potential. Except... Well, there is one part in the middle movement where the guitarist tears loose with a cheesey mid-80's hair metal guitar solo that, while seeming slightly out of place, really works. (In all honesty, it sounds like the guitarist spent some time in the early 90's listening to Funland, a relatively obscure Dallas act whose noteworthy achievement was doing a full-on hair metal cover of Air Supply's Lost In Love/Making Love Out of Nothing at All! A really obscure reference i know, but i played Dreamend back to back with Funland, and there is a real similarity of guitar sound. This could mean that there is also a similarity with, say, Warrant, but i don't own anything by them so i can neither confirm nor deny the rumours.)

Anyway, i would like to hear more by Dreamend before i pass judgement on them. This release, however, does not lead one to care strongly for them either way. On the other hand, they do have an excellent website.

To conclude, the music on this CD is pleasant enough, but not too challenging. It does show potential for the bands in question, so kudos to them.

Related Links:
  Last Night Something Happened, the most recent full-length from Monster Movie.  

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