Andrew Douglas Rothbard – Abandoned Meander
“A Beginning” is the opening track on the disc, and has Rothbard come forth with a very droning type of sound that relies heavily on repetition to get individuals focused into the disc. The track may only be two and a half minutes, but the fact that the track does not change much over that time means that the song feels twice as long as that. The track that immediately follows that is “Abandoned Meander”, and it follows nicely from “A Beginning”.
The instrumentation during that track is richer than during “A Beginning”, and there is a vocal part to the track that operates in two realms. This means that the vocals do their normal job in furthering the track and telling a story, but also that there is a instrumental sound to the vocals that gives the backdrop a richer sound than was present during “A Beginning”. The repetition present during “ A Beginning” is still present, but there are enough things changing throughout “Abandoned Meander” (the track) that individuals will be able to really get behind what Rothbard is doing during this track. “Bull in the Dell” has this same swirling, “trippy” type of sound. The one thing that really distinguishes the track from the rest of the songs on “Abandoned Meander” has to be the more circus-like atmosphere of the instrumentation. The only weak thing on this track has to be the fact that this instrumentation pushes the vocals to the side at a few times during the track, rather than working with the vocals to push the track that much further. Luckily, the instrumentation does not completely dwarf the vocals during this track, and the cohesion that the rest of the disc’s tracks have had up to the point is not ruined.
The guitar work during “Highuponlone” is an interesting change for “Abandoned Meander”, and even if the instrumentation is different than during the rest of the track, there seems to be an adhesion to the same repetitive, dreamy approach present during the rest of the songs on the disc. I was not familiar with Pleasure Forever before getting this CD, but the impressive compositions on “Abandoned Meander” may just be enough to get me to pick up a few of those Sub Pop albums. Rothbard plays a style of music that I would not normally like, but does it so convincingly that I am a fan by the end of the album.
Top Tracks: Highuponlone, Abandoned Meander
Andrew Douglas Rothbard – Abandoned Meander / 2007 Smooch / 13 Tracks / http://www.peakingmandala.com / http://www.smoochrecords.com / Reviewed 30 April 2007