Vampire Rodents albums

 

l

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1993

Lullaby Land (5 / 5)

               Easily one of the hardest rock music albums (?) to attempt to review, Lullaby Land is a true work of art. How good it is depends on how deeply you want to focus on it. Each song is a sort of mini-concerto with non repeating parts, as most songs are either 5 songs in one for 30 seconds each or some insane theme repeated with nonsense lyrics. It is often filed under industrial music, but collage/sample based music is an easy genre as well. It also has qualities of lo-fi rock as it feels very “cheaply made” but a lot of care and thought went into these ideas for sure. To summarize, each song is a mini concerto worth of ideas for songs, cut and pasted together with industrial music beats.

               As far as individual songs go, the first third and final third seem to be the strongest for me, as far as interesting compositions go, the run of “Glow Wurm” to “Exuvaiate” in the middle is the least interesting part. The first six songs are amazing especially listening with headphones: the fierce “Tracobite” taking us back to prehistoric times, the ever changing mood of “Catacomb”, “Crib Death” and “Dogchild” that serve as speed metal meets 80’s goth, and the stand out militant doom and gloom of “Grace” are particularly powerful with lyircs sung in multiple languages for ultimate confusion. “Nosedive”, which vocals by Dan Gatto, serves as the manifesto of this musical insanity. The end of the album has a couple of short song winners, “Hubba Hubba”, “Cartouche” and “Awaken” that seem to really nail the depth and complexity of the work. The album ends with a Brian Eno homage called “Passage” that serves as a chance to finally breathe after the onslaught that happened to our ears.

               Daniel Vahnke is composer and main man behind this project. There is no concept to the album besides supreme alienation, thought the phrase lullaby land can be found in several songs. It is an album (and a band) that dares you to listen to it, like it tries to turn the listener off in any way it can. A painting screaming DON’T LOOK AT ME! The idea of Trout Mask Replica by Captain Beefheart for the year 1993. If Nine Inch Nails serves as the most popular industrial band and could be seen as the populist form of the music, this is the complete opposite. There is some Foetus influence for sure, also Zappa, The Residents, Ministry, Slayer, Bongwater, and Faust all slammed together. If I had to put it in a genre, it would be “industrial satire.”

Best Songs: Nosedive, Grace, Hubba Hubba, Tracobite, Dogchild