CD Review

Little Miss Conception - "The Plate Glass Fallen Sky"

By Marcus Pan

Claiming to refuse being held back by "labels or other boundaries," Little Miss Conception's Eve Kochav and Jenne try to create music of a "goth/experimental noise." They try to keep to a rock format however, with expected drum loops and moody guitars throughout. The Plate Glass Fallen Sky is their first release since a 70-print run of Infected in '95. It contains six of Little Miss Conception's new songs.

I had first heard of Little Miss Conception a while back when I reviewed Kyan Record's terrible pay-for-play compilation, Praying For Something New. Their song Cold, which also appears here on The Plate Glass Fallen Sky, appeared there and I reviewed it thusly when I reviewed the material on that compilation:

Little Miss. Conception - Cold
These are the ones that were nice enough to send me this compilation for review and you can take a look at them to the right - my thanks to Eve for taking the time out to do this. LMC's contribution, Cold, is a strange piece with influences from a lot of different places. During the vocalizations of the lead singer there are bell-like soundings that revolve around his low-pitched singing. The guitars are played lively during lyric breaks with a high-pitched cry. The drums are standard issue metronomics and the guitar riffs are SoM fare.

So already you can wonder where their "experimental" vibe comes in when my first impression was summed up with words like "standard issue" and "SoM faire." And likewise, the rest of the CD is similar, although Cold is one of the louder tunes here.

The problem is simple. Not everybody can go into music creation without any foreknowledge of its make-up. It takes a special kind of person, a savant of sorts, to go right into the creation of music that will be well received without training in such. I couldn't do it - that's why I've been trained in musical theory, practice, arrangement and writing from the age of eight. Eve, I'm afraid, can't do it either. But he forewent the training and went right into the recording phase. Because of that I can't tell whether the poor sounds of The Plate Glass Fallen Sky is a reaction to not being properly trained to arrange his music, or whether he just should try something new. And until a bit of musical theory, arrangement or appreciation classes are added to his repertoire, we won't know.

Up front problems with the music here include the vocals, which are done in a muted and whining fashion. The kick off of the EP, In Bliss, isn't a bad melody insofar as the guitar goes at least at the outset, but the bass and guitar arrangement later during lyrical areas are clashing and misleading. It provides a rather uncomfortable sound, and I don't mean in the way of mood. I mean in the way of arrangement really needing a huge change.

The songs begin to blend together after this - similar muted and whiny vocals, similar guitar strumming with power chord occasions, juvenile bass lines with too much arranged clashing between the guitar and monotonous drums. Even lyrical content will remain similar throughout the CD. Always railing against society, always looking in somebody's eyes, etc. The bass line of Angel is especially infuriating in its simplicity. I don't remember hearing it change once throughout the entire song. Not once. A bass guitar should be treated like an instrument, not a metronome.

I think what we have here is an example of a musical endeavor that rushed too quickly to the fruits of recording and therefore created…spoiled fruit. Eve has a lot of musical learning to do before he can provide an arrangement worthy of pressing to CD and has a bit more wisdom to pick up along the way to provide lyrical content that has more to do than what is provided here. None of this is bad - it's just truth. What's bad is that in the rush to create music, the formalities of knowledge surrounding texturing and arranging songs has been left out. There are hundreds of juvenile garage bands in hundreds of esoteric musical genres that do the same thing. But until you either button up some wisdom to go with your lyrics, or some knowledge to go with your sound, that's as far as you'll get.

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