Spacemaker – Microtia

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According to the email I received from their publicist, Microtia consumed 1,650 beers (19,800 fluid ounces) during the making of this album. They also smoked 2,500 cigarettes. It should also be noted, I suppose, that the cardboard CD “case” is actually recycled from a Pabst twelve-pack box, and the track listing card is recycled from a pack of Marlboro Lights. No shit.

So, they managed to put to “good use” the refuse of their consumption? While I’m totally down with the earth-friendly marketing concept involved here, I’m not sure I can endorse such a practice every time if the result is going to be something similar to this misshapen creature.

At first, they emerge from the dark recesses of the beer and nicotine induced-stupor to almost pound out a Jesus Lizard-like nugget on the opener, “Can You Hear the Jets?,” but for some reason, shortly thereafter, they decide they really want to be a poor man’s goth-metal band, or something like that. By the time they reach the third track, “Interlude,” the pace has settled into a comfortable head-bob, and the vocals start to wind out in sustained half-to-full throated metal-flavored notes.

Now, if there was more of the full-throated thing going on, and they really tore a song apart, I could almost forgive the trappings, but instead we get a lot of semi-constipated turns that don’t really ever emote. They just hover around misery and discomfort until it all ends up sounding like the same song over and over. There are a few brief passages where the vocals started to rise and crack a la Dan K. of Die Kruezen, but very few singers could equal his squeal, and what we get here instead is the half-throated version again. This just sounds mopey and lame. Where’s the nausea and the burn?

Maybe they should have stayed away from the beer and gone straight for the crack pipe. Something/anything. By the time the last song, “Pocket Full of Bee Stings,” came to an end I was pleased that I could now listen to something else.