REVIEW: Null_Object - "Null_Object"

By Mike Ventarola

Chain Border

Null_ObjctNull_Object hails from LA and is fronted by guitarist and composer Gary Herbert. This self titled 6 song CD has been compared to the work of DJ Shadow, Sonic Youth, Tortoise and Crystal Method. Unlike much of what is out on the market these days, Null_Object craft fusions of rock, techno and all assorted electronic effects to keep you on your toes and interested in the overall work. In spite of its experimentation, it is quite enjoyable and not so far out there that even those who disdain avant garde music would find it a welcome respite.

Retinal Scar coasts along like a shoegazer rock track punctuated by various essences of electronic effects and drum and bass percussion. Artifact jumps into the dark electronic realm and shimmers with free form tones that coalesce rather well. This is served over a drum and bass section and punctuated with other snippets and sound bytes. This is a highly addictive track as it keeps the intensity and pace going throughout. One could easily envision this as a soundtrack for modern day life in the big city. Nitrous takes things down a peg or two to glide along a guitar laden cloud of bliss, similar to the chemical from which its name is derived.

Hiding Bridges is a track that somehow manages to blend elements of shoegazer goth with essences of soft rock metal elements, making one think that it was an instrumental session from The Mission UK. That isn't to imply it is a rip off, quite the contrary. It germinates with a "feel" without actually needing to swipe from a better known group and then adds its own elements of electro effects with more ethereal qualities. Disconnect is yet another track that goths will love. The pre-requisite minor chords intro the track and segue with other free form electronic effects that bubble right out of the speakers. Blue Line is the darkest track on the EP. Deep electronic notes guide us as the higher notes seem to bend and reflect from a light source. The guitar is layered on top of this making this an unusual hybrid track that reminds me of driving down a long open highway in the middle of night.

Most tend to shy away from electronic work without vocals, much less anything dubbed as free form or experimental. It is understandable as it is an acquired taste and one that doesn't resonate with a listener until they are past their hormonal stage where bouncing around frantically is de rigueur for their excursion into fun. Regardless, Null_Object actually crafted a fine 6 track EP that would cross over into the terrain for goth, electronic and even some industrial fans. Even though it borders on avant garde, it is highly approachable and something that one wouldn't mind playing repeatedly. The entirety of the work was crafted with an architect's vision that was brought to sound. The result is a musical structure of abstraction that manages to make sense while drawing the listener in.

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Contact Information:
Post: Null_Objct, 937 N. Lucile Ave., Los Angeles, CA, 90026, USA

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