Members of noise groups Syphilis Sauna, ZDefekt and Euphondisson team up on this release to provide background ambience to the spoken word of William Willard. Willard's style is pretty typical for spoken word, leftist politics and a Beatnik mode of delivery, but he has a good pace, with internal rhyming that helps build the rhythm without seeming overly contrived. At his best, Willard makes great use of vibrant imagery, as on the "Americantos" pieces that bookend this disc and feature rapid-fire surrealist and often contradictory life advice, like a personal growth seminar on angel dust. Less compelling are the extended political diatribes, like "Ameristocracy (With Liberty And Justice For Oligarchy)," though "Art Is A Dead Art Form" makes Willard's philosophical leanings more palatable by starting off with personal details that eventually segue into an extended meditation on Marx's philosophy of art. "Unfamiliar (A Camp-Fire Fable)" is interesting as well; though its use of extended metaphor is heavy-handed, the story it tells is ultimately compelling. The music, for its part, consists mainly of subdued industrial noise, muffled feedback, clanks and motors, and provides a much better background for Willard's evocations of postmodern angst and urban decay than the bongo drums and saxophones more often associated with spoken word. This album probably won't win any sudden converts to the form, but it's a fine recording of contemporary street poetry and well worth a listen.
Visit Backwards Records at www.backwardsrecords.com for more information about this release.
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