Having previously recorded for Hymen and Mirex record labels, End delivers his second full-length cd- this time on Mike Patton’s Ipecac Recordings after coming off a month-long tour opening for Melt Banana and Fantômas. This no holds barred collection of apocalyptic spy-fi tunes sound like an appropriate soundtrack to a radioactive surf-rock beach party, but after recent conversations with him, I am positive that End is not someone I would want to run into after a nuclear fallout. “Oh yeah, I would become a cannibal if I had to,” said the currently vegan East Village dweller. He really didn’t seem too afraid of a doomsday scenario, noting the benefits of having superpowers and exhibiting a confidence that he would make a rather fierce road warrior. “I mean, once it’s a world of zombies and mutant bikers, all the rules are gone… Go feral I say!”
Feral indeed, this blistering 11-track album will tear your imagination to shreds and then victoriously roll around in the entrails. Missile silos, showdowns, cartoonish impulses, and rockabilly heartbreak all decorate the musical terrain and if there is a common thread through it all, it is that End does nothing halfway. His outlandish outbreaks are that much crazier, his production that much tighter, and his breaks that much hotter. The breakneck pace at which he flips styles, moods, and hooks disables the listener’s ability to differentiate what is possible or even real, only to succumb to siren’s call of the ‘repeat’ button. No, not to repeat a track- the whole album. Again and again.
End may use a computer to realize his creations and he definitely flexes a barrage of broken beats, but I wouldn’t really consider The Sounds of Disaster to be an electronic album. His Science/Fiction album on Hymen was a wonderful opus of glitchy technoid grooves, but this is something different. Surely not an easy feat to accomplish, but it almost sounds like this album could have been played by a band. Yes, the percussion is too chopped up and the changes would definitely be a challenge to even the most talented musicians, but the riffs are band riffs. Granted, it would probably be similar to the band I would imagine that plays the nightshift at Mos Eisleys’ spaceport, but the arrangements are very deliberately orchestrated so that each voice has its moments of solo and supportive roles, much like the way a live ensemble would perform.
It’s important to state, though, that even with the previously mentioned unifying motifs, there is a considerable wealth of diversity to be experienced. “Ruin Anyone Anywhere Anything” is a horn-based funk jam born in flames and will spread like wildfire on the dance floor. However, only two tracks later, “Mr. Guns (The Theme From 11th Street)” starts with a dark and saucy big band swagger but builds to a full out gun battle that recapitulates as a part of the beat for the finale. “Good Riddance” seems to help let the album breathe a bit, slightly more innocent in character and even showcases some cut-up scat solos, but still brings an infectious head-nodding vibe to the party. There are some slightly more minimal vocal jazz stylings in “The Patricide Song” that give way to hysterical laughter [human and computer], but the cherry on this yellow-cake uranium fudge sundae is the album’s closer, “Fit to Die.” If Jan and Dean threw a barn party in the Kashmir Mountains during the end of the world, this would be the soundtrack, and I would be dancing blissfully as the Earth swallowed me whole.
The Sounds of Disaster is OUT NOW on Ipecac Recordings.