Molloy - "Naif"
(Stick It To the Man Records, Stick-006, 2001)
From Aural Innovations #17 (September 2001)
This is another limited-to-100 CD-R release from Rich Barlow (Barlow/Petersen/Wivinus, The Pins), collaborating this time with performance artist/playwright John O'Donoghue. The CD lasts a duration of approximately 30 minutes and is comprised of mainly 1-3 minute slightly low-fi instrumental ambient/moodpieces, heavy on melodic-to-harsh guitar effects and keyboard drones, while most percussive rhythms are laid down by a kinda backwards-tape-skip effect (which, though it gives the album some continuity, becomes a bit redundant at times). There is a certain somber mood to all of the pieces, forcing me to draw on the convenient phrase "gothic". "Nine" is the first vocal piece, very brief, with slow and depressed piano and O'Donohugh's whispered vocals. I really like "St. Monica", which is actually quite uplifting with its gentle Floydish guitar wailing. It segues into the lengthier "Wildlife", driven by a kinda horse-trot table-top rhythm, bells, weird tape/sound-effects and more slow somber piano. "Meanwhile" features O'Donohugh's spoken-word beat-poetry and then some deep gothic choral vocals; very unusual, but again very brief. "Agora" concludes with some intense tripped-out goth-vocal/keyboard drones. My favorite is "Not Even Thirty", where O'Donohugh's softly-echoed crooning sounds like Vincent Price and the poetry is a great mix with the dark pulsing psychedelia. Closing reprise "The Ghost Thinker" reminds me of a mix between the intro to Metallica's "Damage Inc." and Gyorgy Ligeti, but it works.
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Reviewed by Chuck Rosenberg