Tuesday, May 25, 2004
Somewhere buried in "Your Voice Repeating" - the latest album by the KC-based experimental rock trio Namelessnumberheadman - there is a hit song. A song that will reverberate in your consciousness for weeks on end and leave you breathless at the sheer force it exerts on your brain.
It won't be easy to find, however. To get there you'll have to wade through mountains of meandering sound collages punctuated with keyboards, pedal steel guitars, cheap drum machines, bells, sound effects and bizarre samples from late-night TV shows. At times you may feel like you've gotten off course and stepped into a movie soundtrack instead of a local indie rock album.
Along your way, you will experience many close calls where you will be tricked into thinking you have found what you're looking for. Namelessnumberheadman's disparate influences -- Radiohead, Death Cab for Cutie, Mogwai, DJ Shadow, the sound of washing machine spin cycles -- will all gel in glorious rapture. You will latch on to these brief moments of sonorous bliss, begging them to tarry awhile and warm your bed sheets. But these will only be passing fancies, mere allusions designed to distract you from your ultimate destination.
Do not be frustrated by these false starts. Remain steadfast in your pursuit of the prize, mindful of the scenery and attentive to the twists along the way. Be patient and let the story unfold -- you are not the author, but a witness.
Towards the end of the tale, you may look back and wonder why you ever embarked on the journey in the first place. At last you realize you have been chasing a ghost. The journey is the destination, and Namelessnumberheadman is simply what you were listening to along the way.