Where is the threshold beyond which lies cacophony? Slightly proud of the discordant horizon lies frenetic, post-punk-garage-rockers The Intelligence, a mish-mash mix of artists pulled together by the oscillations of a star spinning between Los Angeles and Seattle.
Lars Finberg is responsible for the insane level of output, 14 singles/splits/eps & 8 full albums since 2003. For this album he collected point specific musicians, wholly devoted to their individual nodes along the recording string; he then twisted and overlapped the string, utilizing different lineups at different times. By this I mean he retains both a Seattle band and a Los Angeles Band. Therefore the album, quite rightfully, became a quixotic collection of threads separately chased down and paired off, reassembled skillfully and with fastidious attention to detail into an intricate lo-fi tapestry.
While some songs elicit the Clap Your Hands Say Yeah aesthetic, a penchant for extroverted, noisy recordings, others (see: I Like LA) evoke Casiotone for the Painfully Alone augmented by the greatest use of counting since Philip Glass‘ Einstein on the Beach or The Books’ Millions of Millions. Occasionally Finberg steps back allowing Susanna Welbourne’s voice to take center stage. After listening to Little Town Flirt one may be tempted to send The Capricorns and Camera Obscura into the closet for Seven Minutes in Heaven.
Despite coal, being known for its combustibility and potential energy, having greater utility in common society, the diamond is more sought after. Everybody’s Got it Easy But Me is loaded with worthwhile ore, yet in the murky depths – hidden to those lacking the guile to seek it out – lies one track, compressed beneath the myriad songs above, into a sparkling, perfect diamond. Indeed, Fidelity caused me to pause while eating my Vermont Maple Kefir and generic store-brand Cinnamon Toast Crunch breakfast. The solid and nostalgic twist on Elton John‘s refrain from Goodbye Yellow Brick Road pushes the end of the album into sappy, brilliant wonderfulness. Or maybe that’s just me.
Either way, now you know.