Monday, May 20, 2013

BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: Speakers // Screens

I'm here today to tell you that YPOIW is no more and that you shouldn't be sad about it.

In late 2011, an idea was formulated from the community that inhabits The Needle Drop forums to start a blog together... This is what became Your Personal Opinion is Wrong. We're all proud of what we did here, but for whatever reason getting energized to create new content at this site has been a struggle throughout the past few months. To help rectify this increasingly dire situation, we considered two options: the first was to end the blog completely, and the other was to start a new blog. We're happy to announce today that we're going to continue the blog, but not with this name and not here.

This new blog will feature a different type of content than what we've done in the past, as well as continuing some of the regular features we've had here over the past two years. The biggest reason to do this now is that it gives us a new start to hopefully not repeat whatever mistakes we made, the most obvious one being naming the blog after an inside joke.

On this new blog we hope to cover music, film, video games, and television. The name Speakers // Screens accurately conveys that area of coverage much better than anything else with which we could have hoped to come up.

Being on Tumblr allows us the ability to craft a post on a whim, and this is a feature of which I intend on taking full advantage. In addition, you can expect to see a lot of features from YPOIW being brought over; these include Abandoned Theater, Northern Exposure, Frames Per Second, and Heavy Friends. We have a lot of new ideas too, none of which can unfortunately be revealed today since they're very much still in flux. What you can assume is that Speakers // Screens will have much more regular content than you would ever see here on YPOIW in 2013.

There will be no more posts here.

read more "BIG ANNOUNCEMENT: Speakers // Screens"

Monday, April 22, 2013

HEAVY FRIENDS: Church of Misery - "Brother Bishop"

(Heavy Friends is the segment here on YPOIW where Robby talks about the latest and greatest in the worlds of underground metal and hardcore)

Church of Misery has been one of the most intriguing metal bands imported from Japan as far as I'm concerned. They are indebted to the traditional doom styles of Black Sabbath as well as newer, thicker variants of doom a la Electric Wizard; but most noteworthy of all to most people, this band is also indebted to basing every one of their pieces of music on the wicked deeds of a single serial killer. The first track to be dropped from their forthcoming LP Thy Kingdom Scum is dedicated to the antics of Gary Heidnik, who tortured and raped six women before he was sentenced to death in 1999.

While it's definitely cool that Church of Misery is keeping up with their unique, but often alienating concepts, the track itself is kind of middle of the road for the band. None of the riffs particularly stick out to me, and there's very little drive to this track until near the very end. I'm still very excited for Thy Kingdom Scum, due to be released May 27th in Europe through both Rise Above Records and June 11th in the US through Metal Blade Records, but I just hope the rest of the tracks pack a bit more punch than this one did. Check out the video for "Brother Bishop" below.

(All this talk of serial killers is creeping you out ain't it? Don't be afraid, take solace in following Robby on twitter @ClydeNut)
read more "HEAVY FRIENDS: Church of Misery - "Brother Bishop""

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

ALBUM REVIEW: The Flaming Lips - The Terror

by Robby Beck

In a way the musical trajectory of The Flaming Lips closely matches that of one of their greatest influences, Pink Floyd. Both bands started out making noisy, druggy psych rock with loads of dark eccentricities. As both bands gained exposure their material became more dense, complex, and concept-oriented. They were crafting symphonies with their rock music rather than just writing songs. Even as both of these bands grew to become household names, their music and experiments just became more complex in the process. There aren't many bands that can gain such substantial notoriety while keeping their ever-expanding artistic vision intact. In Pink Floyd's heyday, they could do whatever they wanted and retain their success, and The Flaming Lips have been in that camp for years.

Ever since The Flaming Lips' 2009 double album Embryonic this band has just been piling on experiment after experiment and basking in their too-big-to-lose status. Among these include releasing at least one song every month in 2011, collaborations with the likes of Lightning Bolt, Neon Indian, Yoko Ono, and Ke$ha (of all people), and a 24-hour song. Yep. But all this seems to have been in place of putting out a new full length album, rather than in preparation of one. We got a fairly cohesive collaborative album on Record Store Day last year, but The Terror is the first proper studio LP we're getting from the Lips since 2009's Embryonic. Before you consider anything else, just bet on this: this band is not done reinventing themselves with every single album.

A press release that frontman Wayne Coyne put out with the album's announcement states the album's concept:
We want, or wanted, to believe that without love we would disappear, that love, somehow, would save us that, yeah, if we have love, give love and know love, we are truly alive and if there is no love, there would be no life. The Terror is, we know now, that even without love, life goes on... we just go on… there is no mercy killing.
This feeling is integral to your understanding of The Terror. Vast landscapes of nothingness, loneliness, desolation. The Terror has been called a nightmarish album, but the nightmare here is that you are alone, you are nothing but nothing and the world is full of you.

This album is easily the band's biggest embrace of ambient and drone music, in fact an LP this reminded me of right at the get-go was Tim Hecker's Ravedeath, 1972. The Terror evokes the same kinds of apocalyptic and desolate musical tropes that that LP does so strongly. This album starts off with "Look... the Sun is Rising" which is one of the most fleshed out segments on the album as far as instrumentals. There are live drums, which only appear in a couple other instances, and while many of the electronics and effects on this record mesh together and become an all encompassing atmosphere, there is a singular synth line on this track that is somewhat catchy. That is once you get past how unsettling it can be. Wayne's voice doesn't really shine out on this track though, where it does start making an impression is "Be Free, A Way". Wayne's voice is usually on the forefront of many of this band's releases, but the way it's utilized on The Terror is extremely unique; it's clearly his voice, but it's put through a set of delay effects that bring an eerie echo to his voice that reverberates throughout everything else in the music. This strange effect and the echo it creates symbolizes the sheer emptiness of the world this record exists in, with Wayne's voice calling out to anything that can listen but his voice just bounces off of every inanimate object and remains unheard. If a tree falls in the forest, and no one's there to hear it, did it really make a sound?

"Try to Explain" is the one soaring, passionate moment on the record, with Wayne's vocal melody perhaps reaching a height that is almost blissful and beautiful before being pulled back into the darkness and nothingness around it. The truly demented nature of The Terror comes out in droves on its 13 minute centerpiece "You Lust". It is one of the most repetitive moments of the record, but while it's not exactly a loud song it is unrelenting in its tortured and harrowing nature. The harsh electronics interjecting near the end of "Turning Violent" further go on to convey the harshness of this environment. The final track in a way ends off where the album began; live drums make another appearance, the instrumental wells up in a more rock-style manner, and Wayne is singing about how this dread and monotony he is going through is "always there."

The Terror is one of the darkest records The Flaming Lips have ever made, and it is also their most fully realized piece of work since The Soft Bulletin. I haven't spoken on many of the musical ideas of a number of tracks, but that's because to do so would almost be pointless; The Terror is an experience you must invest yourself into and only then will you reap the twisted rewards. A lot of great albums create a dense world that listeners can actively explore and find new pieces of wonderment with in every listen. The Terror creates a universe that is no less dense but exploring it leads only to pain, death, loneliness, desolation, grueling monotony. The true Terror is that with every new listen, you'll find a new piece of this empty, unbearable purgatory.

"We don't control the controls."

Score: lite to decent 9

(Don't be too terrified of this review to follow Robby on twitter @ClydeNut)
read more "ALBUM REVIEW: The Flaming Lips - The Terror"

Saturday, April 13, 2013


In the minds of many, Terrence Malick’s career has gone from missed to over-stated in the last decade. Just look at the Rotten Tomatoes or what his actors think of him. Malick’s focus has shifted from plot and dialogue to scenery and picture, leaving many fans of film in a hazy befuddlement after watching The New World, The Tree of Life, or especially his latest, To the Wonder. Some have called his 2013 film self-parody, or an expensive-looking commercial, but those criticisms are shallow and not worth listening to, really.  They substitute personal taste and snarky jabs in the stead of even attempting to unpack a film’s intention and themes. That type of criticism dumbs down the conversation and, in the end, belongs on dorm room floors with bongs and self-inflated thrusts of undergrad faux-philosophy[i] and art criticism[ii].

There is something to be said for the film’s flaws, though. To the Wonder is Malick’s most impressionistic and ethereal film yet, which leaves a lot of unanswered questions as to what is going on in the film. The story floats between Neil (Ben Affleck) and Marina’s (Olga Kurylenko) relationship, Neil and Jane’s (Rachel McAdams) relationship, and Father Quintana (Javier Bardem) and God’s relationship without setting strict boundaries of where the stories begin and end. The characters are practically silent, even, with even less voice-over than one would expect from a Malick film. Everyone flows in and out of constant states of loneliness and false connections. No one in this story feels connected to anyone else, and all they want is that connection. They want to better understand what it is to be someone else, what it is to be one with someone else, and to understand God, if there is even a God. By the end of the story, no one learns anything, because we can’t ever truly learn how to avoid these feelings unless they are delusional. Malick is merely asking the about these truths, as are his characters. They look into the vast beauty of the world for answers.

At least we get beauty. And actual thought on these vast ideas.

The problems with To the Wonder come at whether or not people find value in these meditations. The naysayers are types of people who crave energy, characterization, plot, dramatic arch and/or structure. If Malick’s meditations are disinteresting to some, then this movie is not for them, which is fine. Personal taste (or more obviously in our negative culture, distaste) is a way we define ourselves. Some people listen to Death Grips, some people listen to Handel[iii] compositions, and some people are eclectic and listen to both. Some people think Irrational Games’s Bioshock: Infinite is a fantastic video game that was worth the 5 year wait thanks to its emphasis on story, while others think it is a crap 1st person shooter that is overly serious[iv]. The key point is that whether not a movie is for someone or not is different from what the film is trying to accomplish and what it does in fact accomplish.

Malick is most definitely reaching for those unanswerable questions in his latest film, as he was in his Academy Award nominated, Palm d’Or-winning The Tree of Life. He packs To the Wonder with similar tricks and tropes, but the ideas he are reaching for are much less optimistic and hopeful. His characters in The Tree of Life were sad in their own way, but by the end of the film, they saw a version of heaven and felt beauty and together at last. Here in To the Wonder, we are left with uncertainty and oscillating and unreliable relationships between people who know what they want, but not how to achieve that goal.

And they never learn. They probably will never learn. But they try. They dance in fields, walk amongst buffalo, witness the strange elegance of sea turtles, exist in a constant state of sunset, touch beautiful stain glass windows in churches, make love, kiss one another’s feet in humility, throw furniture in a rage, clean up the messes silently, and repeat. It sounds banal, but it is not. These moments, small and large, are where we show our true selves in real life. Do we stop and smell the roses, or do we run past? It is hard to tell what the characters do, but those moments where they take in the world around them, they are obviously at their happiest. Marina and Neil are never happier than when they are experiencing the beauty of the world around them, and never sadder than when at home, doing nothing. Neil and Jane work when they watch the horses run on her ranch, but they also fall apart as Neil and Marina do. Father Quintana is helping people by giving them the comfort organized religion offers, but when he is alone, he avoids the world as much as he can because it pains him to see the mockeries that he believes God thrusts on his flock.

By the end of the film, we see there is no end. I’m wondering if Neil and Marina will not be together again, or Neil and Jane. Like Richard Linklater’s Before Sunrise/Before Sunset films, Neil could meet with these women forever, only to be disappointed by the result and unable to connect again. Even during the film they leave one another and reunite, even to marry. The perpetual nature of the relationships, for better or for worse, feels true to life. Malick’s focus on picture and scene over characters also harkens to Resnais’s Last Year at Marienbad, a film about beauty, façade, and puzzles which tells its story by looking at beautiful architecture, shallow but elaborate façades, and contains many games which acts as to further puzzle, but also at times enlighten, the viewer of the film. I don’t know if Malick had Linklater or Resnais on his mind as he made To the Wonder, but they, especially Malick+Resnais, are in the same conversation, for sure, for ambiguous filmmaking.

This may not be Malick’s best film (it’s not) but he is going further and further into his own style. I have no doubt that he will become even more experimental as his strangely accelerating career continues. He is currently editing 5 films, and to think he once went 20 years without a film between Days of Heaven and The Thin Red Line. We live in a world where our entertainment and art is becoming more obvious and cleanly plotted, so a film like To the Wonder feels like a breath of fresh air.  I in no way want every film to be like this, without a standard plot or even dialogue, but I appreciate and enjoy this one. Chances are, though, that Malick does not care if you make your choice and not pay to see his movie, which is your right[v]. Malick is making movies for himself, and I’m happy to be along for the right until his next long hiatus.

I give To the Wonder a decent 8 out of 10.

[i] Kind of ironic that this is one of the big criticisms labeled against Malick, huh?

[ii] Keep in mind, I just graduated college myself. So feel free to call me out for my own pretentiousness. I’m *this* close to adding a winky emoticon to this blog post.

[iii] I like Death Grips and Handel.

[iv] I think it rocks. Maybe Kyle will review it soon for YPOIW?

[v] Unless you live in some weird Malick-only commune.
read more "ABANDONED THEATER: Kicked To The Curb"

Saturday, March 30, 2013

ABANDONED THEATER: Like an Observer in Love, Through a Window

This review/essay features spoilers, but it is not a film that can be ruined by knowing the plot because it is not a plot-based film. But I feel obligated to warn you.

Iranian filmmaker Abbas Kiarostami is the mastermind behind many of the great art house films of the last 40 years[i]. His latest film, Like Someone in Love, is produced with Japanese and French money and is filmed in Tokyo. Not only does Kiarostami continue his international tour of the last few years, but he also plays with the common theme in his career—what roles do people play?[ii]

This time around, with Like Someone In Love, he runs with Japanese culture mixed with worldly themes. And again, Kiarostami has created a masterful film. The cast of characters features an old professor (Takashi, played by Tadashi Okuno), a young call girl (Akiko, played by Rin Rakanashi), her obsessive boyfriend (Noriaki, played by Ryo Kase), the professor’s nosy neighbor, and the people each of these characters pretend to be throughout the film’s runtime. Most of the story takes place inside cars and in the meandering moments between what we usually take for plot. After anything significant happens in this film, the characters spend time driving from one location to another, and in those in-between moments, we learn more about them than any other time.

Akiko is ashamed of her job as a high class prostitute, as can be seen at numerous moments, but not least of all when she asks her taxi driver, who is taking her to the professor to “escort,” to drive around the same statue several times because her grandmother is standing there, waiting for her. She has no intention of seeing her grandmother, but she cries thinking about abandoning her family for her job, feeling quite powerless about the situation. Of all of the great, quiet sequences in this film, this one is the most beautiful and the least ambiguous—a great moment to gain bearings in such an ethereal film.

Takashi is a former college professor of sociology and a book translator. These professions speak directly to the film’s complex meaning, since it is a different society and language from Kiarostami’s own and it deals with the way people act with one another. Takashi and Akiko first meet one another awkwardly in the elder’s apartment. Akiko uses the restroom and comes out a different woman, one of her two major roles, playing the character of high class escort for the old man, who is treating her like he would someone on a casual date or a polite get-together. He has no intention of sleeping with her as far as I can tell. They discuss art and life, and Akiko grows tired and goes to bed before having any wine or dinner that Takashi has prepared for her. Takashi wants companionship, for he is very lonely as we learn later from his neighbor.

Then he takes her home the next day. He meets her abusive and wild fiancé, Noriaki, a mechanic who quickly offers to fix Takashi’s car because there is a basic misunderstanding—he believes Takashi is Akiko’s grandfather, and while Takashi does not tell him that he is not her grandfather, he doesn’t fight the assumption either. Their daily adventures continue together, and the themes of the film start clicking at about this point. Takashi has taken the role of grandfather believably, and he shows to be a naturally paternal figure. But it is a false role nonetheless. She is Akiko’s john, not her grandpa.

A lot of what we see of the characters comes from behind windows or off of mirrors, screens of glass, and this is especially true in the car. Even in Takashi’s apartment, we see Akiko reflected from his TV screen for a while. The transparent or reflective surfaces give us glimpses into the souls of these characters, into the hearts of their sadness (or sadness of their hearts?), and especially the lies they tell. Each character plays a role, as we do in real life. Takashi plays the role of Akiko’s grandfather, Akiko doesn’t resist and uses Takashi as an elderly/paternal/maternal figure in lieu of her own abandoned grandmother, and Akiko’s fiancé believes in the traditional role of a husband as the provider and master of the household. Takashi sees the flaws in their relationship, but as most grandparents and parents find, they have very little influence in how they directly affect the lives of children and young people. Rather, they are left to pick up the pieces and care for them. And Takashi does this for Akiko, until the abrupt and chaotic end of the film.

There is a small, important moment late in the film, where Takashi picks up Akiko after the girl has been hit by Noriaki. He brings her home and goes to the pharmacy to get her medicine. Akiko has a discussion with Takashi’s nosy neighbor, who looks at Akiko at first from behind a sheer curtain, and always through the window, even they are engaged in conversation about how much the woman loves Takashi and cares for her very real mentally handicapped brother. We learn from the woman and her constant gazes at the Takashi residence that his wife has been gone for a long time and his daughter never visits. Again, he is supremely lonely. Even the woman in the window assumes Akiko is Takashi’s granddaughter, so the ruse is complete. Until Noriaki arrives at Takashi’s home.

We, the audience, are like the woman in the window. We watch these characters live their lives, and are powerless to affect them. Takashi, who is in the midst of the action, is also powerless. We, in the audience, are always living vicariously through the characters in movies. Like Someone in Love is no different. We care for these sad characters, and even get to see Noriaki at his best and worst, being kind of condescendingly helpful and wildly violent[iii], to show his dynamism, and in the end, Kiarostami slaps us in the face with one of the most violent climaxes I’ve ever seen. And there was no blood.

Noriaki is demanding to enter Takashi’s home, to get to Akiko, and he pounds on the door and screams. Children playing can be heard. The woman in the window and her brother can be heard. And as Takashi nervously looks out a window, a brick flies through it, crashing through the barrier between him and the abuser. Tashaki falls to the ground, and it is unclear whether he was hit or not. That barrier between us and Takashi is also broken, as represented through that window and every screen or barrier between characters, since we are watching through a screen as well. We play roles just as Takashi and Akiko do. Kiarostami reflects real life to his audiences, and he always has. The metaphor might be at its strongest here, in his latest film.

The window is broken. The film is over. The end.

I give Like Someone In Love a lite 9 out of 10.

[i] In 1990, Abbas Kiarostami made the pseudo-documentary Close-Up, which is one of the most brilliant combinations of documentary filmmaking and staged drama filmmaking in the history of the art forms. He won the Cannes Film Festival’s prestigious grand prize award (Palme d’Or) in 1997 for Taste of Cherry. His long career continues to produce great films—arguably his best, Certified Copy, came out in 2010. Certified Copy deconstructed marriage and the roles that husbands and wives fill, even through two relative strangers. Juliette Binoche and British opera singer William Shimell played opposite one another in Kiarostami’s first internationally produced film. Kiarostami continues his international tour, much as Woody Allen has in the last decade, and this time his focus is in Tokyo instead of Tuscany, as it was in Certified Copy.

[ii]  The meta-theme of roles ties wonderfully into films and Kiarostami is the king in this regard. Great filmmakers like Akira Kurosawa, Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, and Michael Haneke have expressed admiration for his art.  And it is not hard to see why. Kiarostami’s vision is uniquely his own, and while he has riffed off of the themes of others (See Certified Copy through the lens of Linklater or Wong Kar Wai and much older directors, and the inspirations are there) his vision is always unique and never a retread. He takes inspiration and runs with it.

[iii] Off-topic/meta-moment: I love lovely adjectives and I use too many.
read more "ABANDONED THEATER: Like an Observer in Love, Through a Window"

Sunday, March 24, 2013

ABANDONED THEATER: Spring Break Foreverrrr

Harmony Korine’s Spring Breakers is not your parents’ film. Actually, it is not a lot of people’s film. Movie goers who hate non-linear, elliptical narratives[i] will not like this movie. Movie goers may not like the dream-like quality the plot takes on, filled with drugs and bare tittays and even violence. A tone poem set to screen, nothing about Spring Breakers screams standard, regardless of the advertising team’s attempt to lure fans of Project X and other party films.  But maybe that is Korine’s ultimate joke: the bros and hos are lured to this film to see his portrayal of their utterly ridiculous need to lose themselves in their own debauchery.

Spring Breakers is also prayer-like. When praying the rosary, good lil’ Catholics repeat repetitive phrases so they can reach that sweet spot in perception to truly meditate on God and life and all of that good stuff. Buddhists and other faiths have similar rituals. Korine uses repetition of neon colors, impressionistic filming techniques, obscene images, specific meditative scenes, raucous character actions, and especially dialogue to reach this sort of trance for the viewer.

Spring break. Spring break. Spring break foreverrrr.

The four girls (played by Selena Gomez, Vanessa Hudgens, Ashley Benson, and Rachel Korine, the wife of the director) decide to go find themselves on their spring break. They wander through the lustful nightmarescape of naked co-eds covered in booze, sand, and cocaine. These scenes are told through the point-of-view of Gomez’s character, Faith, who is a manifestation of Christian faith. She is a good girl torn between the sin and salvation of her childhood, which is represented through her religion and also her three other friends. About halfway through the movie, after these four girls end up in their inevitable destination of jail for drug possession, everything changes. They are bailed out by gangster and trap rapper Alien, played insanely by James Franco, who acts as their savior. Gomez bails and goes home, wizening up, which disappoints Franco’s sex and money-obsessed Loki character.

Spring break. Spring break. Spring break foreverrrr.

A major shift happens at this point in the movie. The movie is now Franco’s. Gomez chooses the side of salvation, leaving the nightmare behind, leaving a vacuum in the film, which is promptly and wonderfully filled by Franco[ii]. Franco acts as the big, gangsta devil on the shoulders of these remaining three college girls, as they piss off local actual-gangsters and rob all of the spring breakers in St. Petersburg and infringing on turf. The most memorable scenes in this film, which is largely sans actual narrative scenes—harkening back to the idea that this is more of a tone poem and less of a narrative film—feature Franco. These scenes are still not actual scenes, but elliptical pictures of a hilarious grill-fronted corn-row-wearing rapper who has money and guns littering his bed, nun chucks and swords on his wall, Calvin Klein cologne on his dresser, and dark tannin’ oil for when he’s lying by the pool. “This is my shit” is one of the memorable mantras of Spring Breakers that many people would probably quote unironically.

Spring break. Spring break. Spring break foreverrrr.

This idea goes back to the audience question again. Who is this movie for? Is it for the bros and hos? They cannot honestly enjoy the lack of narrative—one girl getting into trouble and the other girls have to save her in a Hangover like fashion. Also, the snobbier film fans might balk at the outright absurdity of the characters and the porno-like quality to the dialogue. This leaves a somewhere in-between for the movie. When I saw the film, I left the theater hearing people complaining that they sat through the worst movie they had ever been to in their entire lives. I think the peopleI saw it with —and a small group it was—were the only four in the entire theater who understood it, but a lot of that understanding occurred after discussions on the drive home.

Spring break. Spring break. Spring break foreverrr.

That is where a lot of the work comes afterwards. It is not the sort of instant gratification film like you expect when you see so many partiers throughout its runtime. No, instead we have a very contemplative movie underneath the neon scuzz and tanning oil residue. And the heart of this contemplation comes during the movie’s best and most bizarre scene, where Alien serenades the three remaining girls, who are wearing sweatpants and hot pink ski-masks, to the tune of a Britney Spears song. He plays the song poolside (and oceanside) on a white baby grand piano. Alien refers to Spears as an angel and lifts her memory, as if she was dead, to be that of a paragon of beauty and virtue. The girls twirl with machine guns hand-in-hand in an inebriated exhilaration. To these people, they are one another’s mother-fuckin’ soulmates and this is perfection. In the end, virtue is what these characters lack, unless you look through their shutter-shade viewpoints. They think that their existence has the most meaning, of gangbanging and partying. But do we want to see their point-of-view? That goes back to my original question—who is this movie for?

Spring break. Spring break. Spring break foreverrrr.

I give Spring Breakers a strong 8 to a lite 9 out of 10.

[i] Think Terrence Malick’s Days of Heaven, or even The Tree of Life, mixed with the rebellion of Badlands. Malick, by the way, is one of Korine’s biggest influences.

[ii] Alien is one aspect of Spring Breakers that is easy to enjoy at all times. He is hilarious in how unrealistic he is, but in how realistic he is. His single-mindedness leads to some outrageous moments and dialogue. He reminds me of John Goodman’s Vietnam vet character in The Big Lebowski—everyone’s favorite character in an inevitable cult classic. Franco’s performance is also impressive because he is the spitting image of this alternative, outsider rapper—Riff Raff. Pitchfork has a great video about this character. Do you see the resemblance? 

read more "ABANDONED THEATER: Spring Break Foreverrrr"

Friday, March 22, 2013

TRACK / MUSIC VIDEO: Sigur Rós - "Brennisteinn"

Sigur Rós made a live and studio return in 2012 with Valtari, and clearly they wasted no time in following that up. Kveikur is the name of the new record, and the now-three piece has stated that this album sports a more "aggressive" sound for the band. This is definitely represented on the first track to drop from the record "Brennisteinn", which is also the opening track. The band starts everything off with a bang, forgoing the crescendo for throbbing bass, pounding drums, and a genuinely dire and dramatic atmosphere that surrounds the entire 7-minute affair. However frontman Jón Þór "Jónsi" Birgisson sneaks in his trademark falsetto in a cool down in the middle of the track, and still finds a way to make it fit beautifully.

In a way this track is everything Valtari wasn't; loud, climactic, and in the band's own special way, "aggressive". I very much liked their last record but the band seems to be bringing together a huge change of pace here, and that change is very much welcome. Check out the track below accompanied by one of the most beautifully shot music videos I've seen so far in 2013, and look out for Kveikur when it drops on June 17 internationally and June 18 in the U.S.

(Be sure to follow Robby on Twitter @ClydeNut for more music ramblings and commentary!)
read more "TRACK / MUSIC VIDEO: Sigur Rós - "Brennisteinn""