The Wellwater Conspiracy, Frank Zappa, The Kinks
While the album cover may be one of our favorites for the year, the music... not so much. Ergo Phizmiz is essentially a one man band, composer, experimentalist, writer, radio producer, and performer. The British entrepreneur is apparently extremely prolific venturing out on many different projects and perhaps pulling the Mike Patton. Unlike Mr. Patton, Ergo seems to be throwing a shitload out there waiting for perhaps something to stick. Perhaps his works are too "artsy" for us, but the ten song LP is very under-produced mono stereo sounding piece of work. Again, along the lines of the whole "artsy" thing, that minimalist approach, brings with it deflating sound not very pleasing to the high-end headphones.
1 The Peacock - 3:30
2 The Tinker Song - 2:36
3 Smiles of a Summer Night - 3:20
4 Mandrake - 3:12
5 Open Artery Surgery - 4:42
6 Consequences - 3:28
7 Hyenas in the Hallway 3:58
8 All Fall Down - 3:25
9 The Light Behind You - 6:16
10 The Flying House - 3:06
The Peacock is an eclectic mix of simple guitar strumming, somewhat repetitive keyboard work , and weak percussion loaded with apparently "heady" lyrics that perhaps go around us and not over us. We do enjoy the variety at times of whistling, harpsichord, and clarinet. The title track actually provided much intrigue. One of the better cuts off the album with its bizzaro lyrics about a peacock with bird sounds fluttering and water effects... "peacocks always talk in riddle". The song reminds us of a b-side off a King Crimson album... excellent cut. The album quickly declines from here as 'The Tinker Song' sounds like an old Kinks tune rip-off. No movement or depth to this one. "Smiles of a Summer Night" starts off with peaceful accordion music and polka. Unfortunately, the song really drags and the repetitive piano work becomes nails on a chalkboard. The next few cuts really delve into the obscure Beatles sound territory, nothing all to interesting to point out here. Fast forward to track 8, "All Fall Down," probably the best track on the album. While the melody hook is a bit mundane, the surrounding darker lyrics and banjo-work accompanied by some wind instrument that we cannot identify really works. Intriguing lyrics in a relatively simple track, but it works. The longest track "The Light Behind You" is the longest and perhaps most painful track on the album, repetitive and way to snooty for us.
While the album has a few good moments, and Ergo clearly has an affinity for venturing into the experimental, the album lacks a cohesiveness. The Peacock delivers more of a demos compilation album and is quite choppy. This became a bit of a struggle as we hit the fourth listen. Download tracks #1 and #8 and you should be good to go. - 12/29/2014
Standout Tracks: All Fall Down, The Peacock