CD Review

East West Blast Test - “Popular Music For Unpopular People”

By Marcus Pan

Popular Music For Unpopular PeopleExperiments are ways that help us learn, grow and do better. Increase our knowledge. But more often than not, experiments fail. They disprove things, which on one hand is good, so let’s use that analogy to say Popular Music For Unpopular People is good in that it shows us what not to do anymore. After all, I only stuck my tongue on the steel bridge in the middle of Winter once – and it never happened again. Learning’s yummy.

The Last Drop is Twink[1] wanna-be only with 9 year olds. In the Dogloo is when my 18 month old finds the on switch on my amp. Ok, not really…but it really isn’t much beyond turning on a guitar amplifier and playing chords while an epileptic has a seizure while in your pantry where you keep the pots and pans. The Fathership Invasion is the closest thing we have to a musical track thus far with weirdly played bass rhythms contrasted against over the top drumming efforts. Passport to Papua is interesting too, being what seems to me to be a New Guinea rain dance or other native ceremony. But rather than it being on a music CD, I’d expect it to be on National Geographic.

A lot of the tracks are under a minute, only a handful going over two. What Chris Dodge and Dave Witte, who make up East West Blast Test, are trying to do here is similar to what Fantomas[2] tried – which was just as bad, too. Unwanted Inches prances through your head with sax and horns galore to blast away with ray guns at your waist line. Anne R. Kaye gets Descendants level fast-chunk punk. So is Fabulous Slurry, only it’s 25 seconds long, which is short even by Descendants standards. The 44 second Chasing the Dragon stays in this vein.

In the Multi-Purpose Room we have mostly cut up vocal samples stitched together in no decent order and Otoko No Niku is about the same for drums and some robotic guy with a violin bow and long pubic hairs[3] and then Eight Hours North is guitars stitched up, nipped and tucked. Welcome to Geelong (Now Go Home) is the longest track on the album and closes Popular Music For Unpopular People with a farty didgeridoo and, surprisingly enough, some well placed rhythms and ambience. I assume they opted to end the album here because it was getting too musical to fit the groove of the previous 22 tracks.

You know what kiddies, if you want to fuck around in your studios making stuff that’s funny to you and makes you smile, then good for you. But the moment you press it, package it and market it there should be something here that other people – typically those who would buy it – would find enjoyable, memorable or otherwise serves some type of purpose. East West Blast Test fails in this regard. Both Chris and Dave show accidental slips of talent throughout Popular Music For Unpopular People, indeed. So it’s not that they can’t do something that’s marketable. But when they went into the studio for this one I’m sure that they spent at least a week watching both Nikelodeon and the Cartoon Network simultaneously for three weeks until they were sure both their brains have regressed to precognition.

Contact Information:
Speakeasy PR
Post: 12242 Moorpark St., #1, Studio City, CA, 91604, USA
Phone: (818) 506-4561
E-Mail: monica@speakeasypr.com
Web: www.speakeasypr.com
[1] Twink was interviewed in Legends #128.
[2] Suspended Animation was reviewed in Legends #149.
[3] You press crazy ass “music” like this you get crazy ass “reviews” like this.

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