CD Title: Signals EP
Label: Shinto Records
Genre: dubstep, electronica, ethereal
Geodesique formed in July of 2012 when Lala Fairshadow joined Zoe and Oni (then performing as Geodesic) for a live set. Soon after, the 3 started working on new material and a new sound they describe as “Ghost Pop”. Mixing together danceable beats, driving basslines and atmospheric synths the 3 have merged their influences into a cohesive distinct sound. After several EP's like Smoke or Eighty-Eight, and an upcoming full length album Hologram, Geodesique is slowly finding their audience.
I have to be honest and say that I really wanted to like this, but quite honestly, I couldn't wait for it to end. As I type this review out from the bottom of a jar of extra strength Advil, I can't seem to get rid of this brain splitting headache from hell, (courtesy of Geodesique). The best, and quite frankly, in my own opinion, the ONLY thing this band has going for themselves is the vocalist Lala Fairshadow. Her beautiful, haunting tones, ring pleasantly in my ears, and with the right music, (not this mess), I think she could be really successful. Her dark and ethereal voice, slightly reminds me of Heather Wright from Beautiful Pea Green Boat. Though Lala is no Heather Wright by any stretch of the imagination, you can still hear the overall potential in her voice. I'd personally like to hear Lala doing another style of music like goth or ethereal. The comedy of errors that is Geodesique makes you wonder what they were thinking? Nine times out of ten, Lala's beautiful voice, which I call more pleasant "tones" than actual vocals, is drowned out by invasive, soul crushing, almost maddening, ear splitting noise. Don't think that when I say "noise" I mean powernoise, industrial noise, or hardcore driving beats. I mean the kind of annoying noise that really gets in your head and makes you want to rip your flesh off. It's like the infernal buzzing of a fly in your ear that just won't go away. Every time you think "maybe this will grown on me, maybe it will get better" it just gets worse and worse. by the end, your ears and head are so sore, that you wonder if this might be some new brain washing technique? The best part of the Signals EP is when you turn it off and keep it off. I can't imagine a whole album of this noise. Even though it is only a single EP, it is like a mini album and a taste of the monstrosity that could one day be a full fledged album. God help us all!
Now that I have done my best rather scathing, American Idol, Simon Cowell-inspired impression, I'd like to try to look at this more diplomatically and objectively. I like to give you the readers and listeners a fair chance to take in the full Geodesique experience, and draw your own conclusions. So as I pop another handful of Advil, I'm going to attempt to give this the most fair shake that I can possibly muster. Signals starts off on a promising note. Harsh, electro industrial, dubstep inspired beats, swirling and atmospheric synths, that just float over a trite and moody landscape, completely devoid of melody.
Lala's haunting voice, that as I mentioned earlier carried a lot of promise, just seems to get on your nerves after awhile. Her voice goes from beautiful, haunting and even exotic to nails on the chalkboard as you struggle to try to enjoy it over a plethora of mind numbing madness. Think the tranquility of Enya accompanied by a jackhammer. By the way, I'm definitely not comparing her voice to a vocal treasure like Enya, just trying to illustrate my point. Lala's vocals seem to resemble a sort of chant-like, Middle Eastern quality. However, soon you'll find that it just starts to sound droopy, drab and whiny, like a ghost in extreme agony.."ooooohhh ooooohhhh". You just want to put this band out of their misery. The incessant beats and out of place synths are in what seems to be a never ending battle to the death with Lala's vocals. At some point, you wonder if this is a new form of torture, like Chinese water torture...but I digress.
At times, I'm reminded of a very early and raw version of Chris & Cosey, but trust me, this is the exact opposite of that. It's like experimental, electronica noise that drills a hole in your brain. I think someone on a heavy dose of mind altering drugs, might quite possibly have found the perfect soundtrack to trip out to. I can see where they might have been going with this, but quite honestly, this trio is not talented enough to pull it off, it really just starts to sound like a jam session from hell. All the songs seem to flow together like one really long and painful song, that is on continuous loop and just drags on and on until you just can't take it anymore and you need to smash your stereo or Ipod into a million pieces..ahhhhhhhhh!!!!..(run on sentence intended for added drama)
Why they even bothered to remix this catastrophe is beyond me. Usually remixes tend to tighten things up and can sometimes make a "so so" record, an "ok" record. This is NOT the case here. The remixes seem to be just as bad, if not worse than the original tracks. But to be fair, you are only as good as the material you are given to remix. So, to protect the identities of the remixers and preserve their careers, they will remain nameless.
I'm sorry, I haven't utterly hated a record this much in years. If I had any professional advice for this band I say "pick a style you feel most comfortable with, perfect it and go with it. With such a diverse and eclectic collection of styles, it ends up sounding like one big cluttered disaster. It's as if one could agree on a style to make, so instead of a friendly compromise, they just threw everything into a blender and hit pulverize, and said "here's our record". My advice to Lala is to drop the dead weight and find another band or style of music that complements her voice better. Sorry Geodesique, nothing personal. I don't know or dislike you, only your music. It's just my humble opinion.
Be your own judge, check out Geodesique on Youtube.
Buy Geodesique "Signals" EP on Amazon not available until May 28
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