Tuesday, June 2, 2020
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Artist: Lucky Bone
Title: Borderline (In Four Parts)
Format: CD
Label: Public Eyesore (@)
Rated: *****
Lucky Bone is the work of experimental filmmaker Neil Gravander, who hails from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I could find very little about this project, but he is a graduate student at University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee who has exhibited his work at various shows. The liner notes are cryptic, but for this album it doesn't really seem to matter. For example, 'Part one is pre-summer something needle with recordings from the thieving boyfriends girlfriends fathers house also BPWS live on the NYC boardwalk, n' LB is Borderline and sad, and home-alone too: spiritual.' If this doesn't seem to make much sense, remember: it probably doesn't matter either way. Sonically, this album is all over the map, but remains firmly in the constellation of heavily treated sound source. Imagine taking a radio and then cycling through the stations, recording it as you go along. Now run it all through some heavy distortion and the occasional pitch bending. This gives you a taste of what you are in for. At some points the loops can get a bit repetitive, but this album moves on from place to place, like a shark that must constantly remain in motion or it will die. For example, at 10 minutes in we are treated to processed catcalls of 'Come on, girl!' followed by a truly terrible karaoke rendition of Madonna's 'Borderline.' It was funny, but got a bit dull by the end. Later, at 25 minutes in, he seems to be introducing his project by discussing the fact that he just got back from touring which then slips into voice samples that get tweaked beyond belief. At 52 minutes in, we take a trip down the radio dial over and over again, with slight variations on the theme. At 56 minutes in, we are told that this song is 'the story of how I broke my shoulder,' which then takes feedback, hum, and what may be synth and runs with it. Overall, this is noisy experimentation that doesn't seem to take itself too seriously. This last part may be its saving grace; the humorous undertone allows us to be much more forgiving. If you like lo-fi experimentation, this is one to check out. Think of this as a cross between Hafler Trio, Bob Ostertag, and anything that has come out on Breathmint Records. This album weighs in at around 76 minutes.