Editrix - Tell Me I’m Bad Music Album Reviews

Editrix - Tell Me I’m Bad Music Album Reviews
The Massachusetts-based trio featuring guitarist Wendy Eisenberg is a gnarled, shred-heavy, meta-comment on indie rock that also creates some pretty great indie rock songs along the way.

Wendy Eisenberg shreds. The guitarist peels off several spectacular solos on Editrix’s debut album Tell Me I’m Bad, most of them chaotic and raw, a couple winding and lyrical, and all inspiring visions of fretboards melting in terrible ecstasy. Eisenberg also shreds in the sense of tearing things up. As an instrumental soloist, singer-songwriter, and member of various ad hoc improv ensembles, they specialize in deconstruction: of compositional forms, orthodox approaches to their instrument, and arbitrary distinctions between the conservatory concert hall and the punk house basement as venues for strange and dissonant music.
Editrix, a Massachusetts-based trio with bassist Steve Cameron and drummer Josh Daniel, is Eisenberg’s most straightforwardly rock-oriented project, though it presents itself in playfully conceptual terms. The band has self-selected “avant butt rock” as a genre tag, and their stated intent is to “annihilate indie rock.” But Tell Me I’m Bad doesn’t sound like an academic exercise or a joke. Instead, it comes across as an exuberant and virtuosic take on the sort of grinding, noisy post-hardcore that has thrived in DIY spaces across the country ever since the late 1980s or so. This is rock neither butt nor avant, but a lot closer to the latter than the former. For the most part, it requires no annihilation to accommodate the weirdness Eisenberg and crew have in mind for it; the weirdness is built right in. And if the moments of guitar worship are intended on some level as a critique of the form, that doesn’t change the fact that they fucking rip.

The players composed the music of Tell Me I’m Bad collaboratively, with Eisenberg penning lyrics and singing. They make impressive use of the trio format, emphasizing the independence of their instruments and the negative space between them. Sometimes, they return to verses and choruses, but just as often their songs unfold in a series of violent breaks, without the comfort of repeated material. On “Torture,” Eisenberg’s guitar buffets their partners like a fierce crosswind, threatening to divert their 4/4 groove into murkier rhythmic waters. “Instant” is lurching and abrasive, its lyrics hinting at some trauma of youth without naming it directly. It sounds like Shellac, if Shellac songs didn’t have predators for protagonists and instead focused on the efforts to pick up the pieces by those that survived their attacks.

In one subtle deviation from the basement sludge tradition, Eisenberg does not strain to be heard over the music, but follows the same conversational delivery of their much quieter recent solo records. The approach feels like a refutation of punk’s macho posturing, and also of its insistence on naturalism and authenticity. Hearing Eisenberg’s voice at the front of the mix, cool and collected above instruments whose roar might obscure it in the room, gives it a certain artificial remove from the rest of the music. This distance in turn affords Eisenberg room for more ambiguity of perspective than your average earnestly bellowing front-dude. On “Chelsea,” one of several songs that juxtapose singsong melody with pummelling instrumental force, they observe a woman whose politics aren’t sufficiently progressive: “Chelsea veers to the left, but not far enough/In this way she’s nothing like me.” From another singer, the line might seem smug. Eisenberg’s taunts suggest that the narrator may be more like Chelsea than they think.

Tell Me I’m Bad comes closest to fulfilling its promise of annihilation in a three-song stretch near its close. “She Wants to Go and Party,” “The History of Dance,” and “Chillwave” are the album’s most conventionally approachable songs, but also the most complex, indulging in various rock’n’roll stock gestures in ways that highlight both their silliness and their power. “Chillwave,” my favorite of the three, has a reggae-ish half-time groove that reminds me equally of Fugazi, 311, and “Watching the Detectives.” When a droning high note from a synth appears halfway through—the only incursion of electronics on the album’s power-trio palette, as far as I can tell—the whole thing begins to feel like it’s hanging in suspended animation, and I’m tempted to add Talk Talk to the list of unlikely reference points. Drifting and borderless, it sounds, at last, like something other than rock. Even the guitar solo, when it arrives moments later, can’t break the spell.
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About Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera

Hey, I'm Perera! I will try to give you technology reviews(mobile,gadgets,smart watch & other technology things), Automobiles, News and entertainment for built up your knowledge.
Editrix - Tell Me I’m Bad Music Album Reviews Editrix - Tell Me I’m Bad Music Album Reviews Reviewed by Wanni Arachchige Udara Madusanka Perera on February 19, 2021 Rating: 5


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