Yes this is the third album by a band who claim to be the hardest working band in Seattle which is why this is the third album they have put out since forming in 1981!! Yes they have that solid a work ethic and yes the name is actually a symbol that translates to Aaiiee.
So from the opening of The Sportsman they remind me a lot of Cle legends Home & Garden being slightly more verbose than is normally expected of slightly artsy psych rock bands, but then not many of them have songs about getting fined for Fishing without a license. I do like the alternately crunchy and slightly widdly guitars that jar against each other just enough.
Keep Clam yes indeed Keep Clam and carry on has lyrics delivered in a similar style to Wesley Willis but without the ad inserts and with a slightly better keyboard sound set against some wailing distorting guitars that can easily make you forget about the oddness of the lyrical content better just Keep Clam then.
They then give Nick Drake's Pink Moon a makeover so it's almost done in the style of Sparks at their disco crossover peak and at the same time in places sparse enough and the fact they have taken the song somewhere totally different is undoubtedly to the band's credit.
As for the Crosseyed Captain they take a riff that is familiar to fans of Pulnoc and Nico in the mid 80's and give it a Pirate rock makeover and almost get away with it as it's such a great act of musical piracy and bastardization that while I can hear other people's songs in the music it still sounds very original.
Last temptation of Lar could be about that Seattle set Lars Von trier film or of course about band member Jeff Larson taking a train journey with lots of odd stuff happening to him. It also sounds very much like Home & Garden again which as most of you will never have heard of them probably doesn't help much but if you like odd songs with jangly guitars and spectral keys you too could imagine it's a song about Lars Ulbrich getting tempted to try Heroin one more time which it of course isn't.
Look At Me is played at a raging angry pace and with barked orders to don't look at me Look At The Door you know something bad is happening just not what, either way it rocks in a great psychotic storm of domination and the worry that the coast isn't clear yet. It's possibly worth getting the album for this song alone.
Feng Shui has some cool staccato guitars reminiscent of Dimbulb meeting early Wire it's sort of post punk and slightly avuncular with Jeff Larson doing his best to sound like Ian Curtis and it works in a cool way.
Go on guess who they might try to sound like on Husker's Guiding Who but without the towering wall of noise or fog machine as they decide they are in garden of Eden that is almost sung in a gadda da vida kind of parody.
Phloom is the sort of song title that sounds like it's nicked from a Kurt Vonnegut book and they are the house band on Tralfamadore and making the place there own.
Here Come the Ducks sort of re-works the warm jets into a disco duck classic almost as absurd in its dance moves as Malcolm Mclaren's Duck efforts and lots of cool rubber duck noises get ready for it to be the next dance craze to infest the nation if they can come up with a good viral video to go with it.
Mystify Me doesn't Mystify me at all but instead is a cool indie sort of love song about confusion that reminds me a bit of Not Your Friend by Lars Cleveman also about relationships going a touch odd.
The album closes with Folly that opens like an early PIL dub experiment and soon veers off into Soft Machine territory but keeps switching back and extends out as a 10 minute plus musical journey to the nether regions of Aaiiee's world as finally the vocals come in just past the 5 minute mark and the description of the world of Aaiiee unfurls in all its otherness.
This album will certainly reward repeated listening as you'll find the music growing on you and you'll spot stuff you missed on earlier listens Find out more at www.greenmonkeyrecords.com www.aaiiee.com