Sunday, June 8, 2008

June 08, 2008: Album of the Day Vol. 017: Volcano! - 2005 - Beautiful Seizure


Beautiful Seizure

Leaf (BAY54CD)


01. Kalamazoo
02. Easy Does It
03. Fire Fire
04. $40,000 Plus Interest
05. Larchmontt's Arrival
06. La Lluvia
07. Red and White Bells
08. Apple or a Gun
09. Frozen In Escape
10. Before the Suburbs
11. Hello Explosion
12. Pulling My Face In and Out of Distortion, I Blink Too Much

To ignore it, is to deny yourself a most beautiful voyage, a beautiful dream, a beautiful moment and most definitely, a Beautiful Seizure." Rated 10/10 in DROWNED IN SOUND

"Volcano!'s febrile super-proficient explosions and switchbacks are a vocabulary of their own" // THE WIRE

"A disarmingly genuine and honest record" // BRAINWASHED

"Driven by a fierce experimental vision that draws from noise-punk, Radiohead, Suicide, and post-rock among others, volcano!'s incendiary sound—while daunting in its intensity—impresses for being so wholly uncompromising." // TEXTURA

"Beautiful Seizure is the debut album from Chicago art-rock trio volcano!, and it's full of unpredictable, volatile compositions that sweep varying styles and moods together like dry leaves before setting them ablaze." // PITCHFORK

The Leaf Label has a long history of releasing adventurous, original and gifted artists from around the world, but for the first time in their history, they have found a rock band fit for inclusion. "Beautiful Seizure" is the debut album from the young Chicago trio Volcano!, and it’s an intense, exhilarating and immensely rewarding ride.

Volcano! are creatively white-hot and ferociously innovative. What may at first sound chaotic and unplanned reveals itself on repeated listening as meticulously structured: rhythms gather, flicker, melt(down) and emerge as something different; splenetic episodes give way to passages of hymnal calm which in turn are shattered as language breaks down into strobe-like stuttering and is tugged back into line by Sam Scranton’s insistent drumming; silvery shards of controlled static ride high above everything. Melodies are stretched to and beyond breaking point, Aaron With’s guitar shifts between a ragged, feverish dissonance and bright spaciousness (‘La Lluvia’ is even lush…). There are no boundaries and no indulgences, nothing here that’s hackneyed or extraneous.

"Beautiful Seizure" is driven by a relentless exploratory intelligence, but it would be a mistake to consider Volcano!’s music as purely cerebral. The lyrics would be fascinating on their own: anxious, humorous, angry and longing, made even more so by Aaron’s sinewy delivery that recalls Black Francis’ most ribald moments and Thom Yorke’s most commanding – sometimes violent, often vulnerable.

Comparisons could be made with the fervent dynamism of Deerhoof or Black Dice, and there’s an inquisitiveness in bass/electronics man Mark Cartwright’s real-life samples, but it’s their stunning live show marks volcano! out as a unique band carving their own auspicious path.


"As the third or fourth rush of blood hits your forehead, a brief glance at the CD player reveals that you're only three minutes in. You've already experienced two album-defining moments of perfection, two that form but 1 per cent of what Beautiful Seizure has to offer. To ignore it, is to deny yourself a most beautiful voyage, a beautiful dream, a beautiful moment and most definitely, a Beautiful Seizure." Rated 10/10 in Drowned In Sound (US)

Listen to samples here

From the Volcano! myspace page:

a video for you all...

hello friends and soon to be friends,

here is something interesting. we went on a long tour in spring that took us all over europe, any indication of which is completely and conspicously lacking from this website; no photos, no myspace blog updates, nothing but the absence of tour dates which were on the page before. well, i promise that we went on tour, met cool people, played a few amazing shows, and even took some hilarious photos which still have not appeared on this site. but anyways here is a cool person we met. Matthieu

When we arrived in Paris just one day before we played the worst show in the history of volcano!, we got a call from Pauline who wanted to take us out with her and her friends and show us a fun time in a city we knew little about. This sounded great. We met her, Matthieu, and another nice fellow who's name i have forgotten at a french sports bar where we watched the French advance in the world cup. We drank an old-man-from-the-south-of-france drink called pastis with which I am now in love. then, matthieu asked us to improvise something for him to film in front of the sports bar crowd amid world cup frenzy for his blogotheque series, concerts a emporter. we improvised an a capella pseudo-baroque fugue which confused everyone including ourselves. Unfortunately the sound was not recorded, and realizing that we could never recreate the scene that we had just participated in, we went off to improvise elsewhere. We made one more totally bizarre improvisation in front of the beaubourg, which i haven't watched yet because I remember it being horrible, before we recorded something successful for matthieu. We did a version of La Lluvia in front of a catherdral at night in a completely empty plaza. it was fun. see for yourselves!

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