hat sets Excepter apart from your standard psych-noise band is their conscious welding together of disparate styles. Their sound is a mix of house, dub, early industrial, and kosmische music that’s enough to make most anyone’s head swim—whether from consternation or blazed reverie isn’t really an issue.
The album’s beats, which are the center of each piece, are simple and repetitive and use standard drum machine samples (ask yr local gear head; exactly what don’t much matter.) Above that we get some heavy-duty synth action, mumbled (in the truest sense of the word) vox and more percolating electronics. Personally, I’m annoyed by the incessant cymbal tapping on tracks like “Bad Vibration.”
The opener, “Shoot Me First,” is concise and effective. Built on electronic noises echoing off into the ether, it features chanting and moaning as well as an off-kilter beat. It gets something done in a relatively short time and is the better for it. Other tracks distinctly lack progression; a drum loop plods along with murky synth bass lines only to cut off suddenly, or meander without significant development or resolution.
Due to the music’s repetition, especially lengthier tracks like “BB+B,” it’s easy to lose focus on the layers of electronic melody and (lacking a better word) noise. Listening again can help in cases like this, but be warned: it’s not all diamonds in the rough—even after repeated listening I still find the unrelenting bass line on “Bad Vibration” to be a bit of a downer.
Based on their last album (Throne on Load), some may have tagged the group as Black Dice imitators; that sentiment does Excepter a disservice. They’re much more versatile than that; it’s not like they’re Tangerine Dream or anything.
As with everything, it’s a matter of taste. I like some of the album very much (highlights are “Shoot Me First” and “Interplay: Your House” (benefiting big time from femme incantations) but I find other bits of it (the majority of “Bad Vibration”) to be somewhat pointless—I know they can do “better” than that, so maybe my concept of “better” isn’t in their vision statement, ya know what I mean?
Reviewed by: Ian Johnson
Reviewed on: 2005-09-09