Newborn Slime/White Light Split
According to the Musical Family Tree website, musician Kid Primitive was so “enchanted” by the album Newborn Slime, by Castle Oldchair, that he felt the need to “create a sister album for it.” So, here we have the two albums together, like peanut butter and jelly smashed at the bottom of your book bag. Could this be a match made in heaven? Or will this double album make you wish you had brought money for the lunch lady special?
Let me describe it this way: you know that guy at the party who everyone tries to avoid because he’s rolling on E, or has taken a fistful of psilocybin mushrooms, or both? You know the one: his eyes are like cartoon swirls and he will somehow manage to corner you and talk for two hours about mystical fortresses, tiger princesses, aliens, and bizarre Greek philosophies you’re pretty sure never existed? Put that guy in a room with a karaoke machine and two adolescent boys making farting noises with their armpits, and what you get is Newborn Slime/White Light.
I suppose you could call the album essentially a cappella, since there are really only two tracks with instruments. Some a cappella albums, like Björk’s Medúlla, are excellent. Newborn Slime/White Light sounds roughly like an Andre the Giant or Sloth from The Goonies flatulence celebration. There are a few passable attempts at beatboxing on tracks like "Thanks with an X," but generally those disintegrate rapidly into moaning, bleating, lip farting/raspberry making, and spoken word-esque vocals that sound like they are being squeezed out of a pinched balloon.
Nearly every track on the album is physically difficult to endure. Frankly, I’m fairly certain there were only two songs that kept the headphones in my ears throughout the whole experience: “Innerlewd” and “Outerlewd,” the only guitar tracks on the album. Both have some pleasant and even interestingly technical guitar picking, and effectively kept me hoping that there was light at the end of a very bleak tunnel.
“Innerlewd” and “Outerlewd” show that these guys do have some talent for writing interesting stuff. A quick peek at their respective MySpace pages also reveals that they are capable of creating listenable-even likable-music. Perhaps, however, these are simply fleeting moments of clarity in an otherwise viscous heap of unpleasant detritus that I would rather not have to wade through. For me, music has to be an experience that I enjoy or somehow get something out of. It can be painful, cathartic, or abrasive, as long as there is some link to some kind of worthwhile experience. I just can't seem to find that here, in a mountain of noises that sound essentially like "horny cats getting hit by cars" or the "annoying yet tortured ghost of Wallace Shawn" (those were actual notes I wrote in my notebook as I listened to the album for the first time). Unfortunately, I’m fairly certain a true appreciation of this album is only accessible through a large quantity of illicit substances, which is also the best argument against drug use I’ve ever heard.