World’s End Girlfriend - Seven Idiots (Erased Tapes)

A storm in a teacup? Or a full scale deconstruction?

Released Apr 25th, 2011 via Erased Tapes / By Clementine Lloyd
World’s End Girlfriend - Seven Idiots (Erased Tapes) Do you find modern music a bit too ‘safe’? Does the very notion of bars, chords, drum loops and lyrics strike you with so much de ja vu that you cannot help but weep into your record collection? Then World’s End Girlfriend’s new collection might be of some use in pacifying your want of complete and utter madness. Even if your safe sounds still hold the majesty they once did for others, give this a try, it may just blow your brains out the back of your head, and paint them on the walls forming a lively picture or a rocket, or a rabbit being mercilessly devoured by a slavering jackal, or some other kind of rawshack image anyway.

Seven Idiots doesn’t so much lure you up the garden path as drag on to a motorway during a trucker’s convention.In space. Bombarding you with a powerful concoction of Jazz, funk, acoustics, electro-synth, break-core, ambient audio and the rest, each track feels like several light-years travel in several different directions. The result is often genius, sometimes nauseating, and one to make Brian Eno proud.

The most infuriatingly verbose being ‘Der Spiegel im Spiegel im Spiegel’, in which you are treated to nearly five minutes of various audio snapshots, like a radio being tuned in the seventies awash with acoustic blues, jazz, funk and the odd ascension of static, feeds directly into ‘The Offering Inferno’. Seamlessly combining the two, separated only by their names, this track assembles some of the most frightening sounds you have been programmed to detest (children crying, demonic howls, harsh and relentless static feedback, and the odd sped up telephone dial a la ‘Scream’ slasher-horror) into a terrifying ordeal that must be endured like an punishing rite of passage. Bare with us though, this gets better.

Plumbing the depths of the exterior tracks, that is, the ones that don’t make you want to run screaming back to your safe records, there is a fractured sense of humour. Within ‘Teen Age Ziggy’ there is a comically overindulged sense of fun, frolicking as it does in its high-energy relief. The linear ferocity of the riff bleeding from the speakers is imbued with that very special magic held by platform games and Snez ‘Streetfighters’ of yore, part nostalgia, part Bowie based thrill ride. ‘Les Enfants Du Paridis’ is similarly paced and spacey, inspiring a frivolous joy. One of the more openly mainstream tracks, this is soon done away with as the suffocating riffs open up into a more spacious spangled backdrop at times effortlessly recalling the dingy shows of the fabled DJ Scotch Egg. It is pretty addictive listening, definitely in the genius column.

Battling on through ‘Helter Skelter Cha-Cha-Cha’, the bubbling bass flows, gritty riffs congealing in reminiscence of a System Of A Down creation, breaking with the hymnal semi-vocals and resounding synth. This is more stylistically savage, yet still living in the shadow of ‘Galaxy Kid 666’, waltzing into your line of vision before obliterating all you see in a hail of flying kicks in beats and breaks, tearing through the track with a burnout speed it is as rewarding as it is brutal.

Easing the burden of those pesky track titles, ‘Bohemian Purgatory’ Part 1, 2 and 3 are set up like visuals, landscapes which seem to inform the future of the record. ‘Part 1’ sets up the slower backdrop, employing subtle points of interest, dropping with metallic clock chime, before breaking with its opener and reveling in a tightly bound tension, somber violins playing out over the whiplash base, ceasing only to comply with the most resolute piano solo, twirling out of shot at the saxophonists side. ‘Part 2’ swallows the pace, putting it on ice to keep step with the somber violins, twisting as the pace snags, and supercilious snatches of another time and space are drawn in from the ether. Freakish and unnerving, a direct line into ‘Part 3’ sets up those horrific experiences of ‘Der Spiegel…’ and ‘The Offering Inferno’.

This isn’t the end however. As if to appease our tarnished souls, World’s End Girlfriend’s Katsuhiko Maeda plays out an achingly beautiful lilting number ‘Unfinished Finale Shed’, doing away with all but the piano and electric guitar and baring a face of the many headed being we haven’t seen yet. Echoing through the finale, it almost serves to put you back together after the ego death that was this record. It is the deep calm after a brutal storm; sometimes beautiful, sometimes brutal, always intriguing.