The Noisettes – The Oconee Meadows LP

The Noisettes
The Oconee Meadows LP

I’m going to do something I haven’t done before with a record review, and it’s sometimes hard to believe that I haven’t done it. I’m going to review this album without getting all the way through all of these songs. For you see, dear readers, I fear for my sanity, and my headache is growing as I write this.

The Noisettes, formerly named Magical and the Theremins, has chosen the perfect name, for what they do is make noise. The two members of The Noisettes recorded these “songs” over several years whenever they sat down to play with various equipment in a studio. Experimenting is fun. We all like to play around on a keyboard or mixer to see what sounds we can make. But we don’t all record those sounds for others to hear.

So what you end up with is lengthy and repetitive tracks made up of completely mechanized noise. Beeps, blurps, boops, boings, whistles, keyboard-style sounds, ambient washes of noise that ebb and flow, squeals, and so much more, repeated over and over again, ad infinitum.

But, I suppose, it is obvious that these two people are musicians in other ways. There are elements to each track here that hint toward musical nature. Unfortunately, constant repetition and headache-inducing sounds make the almost 74-minute length virtually unbearable.

There are some redeeming qualities, I suppose. The first track, “The Little Girl Who Lived Down the Lane,” has a very simple and extremely repetitive groove to it, and the second track (foregoing names because of their unnecessary length) is very ambient and sleep-inducing. And I honestly believe that a drum track would turn the fourth track, “Succubus,” into a decent electro-ambient song. And by the time the band finally adds almost percussive keyboards and bass sounds, the warblings begin and the repetition gets painful. And while “Zen Picnic” has almost guitar sounds and the noise of washing waves, making for a very peaceful, contented song, the next track is the soundtrack to tuning your guitar, apparently – yes, for 19 minutes? Does this song change in that time? I don’t have the patience to find out. And then it gets painful, if it hasn’t already, like the unbearable bleeping of the next track (“Solar Flare Bungee Jumping”), and the following track is one long drone. After a few more tracks of mindless drones and noises, “The Bubble” at least adds some variety and keyboard noises to provide a nice background ambient, repetitious track.

We have a policy at DOA of reviewing everything that is sent to us, and so I listen again to The Noisettes, skipping to the end of songs and skipping some songs altogether. I see some promise in the mechanical ambience of these songs, but I do not enjoy it. In fact, when this album doesn’t put me to sleep it causes me pain. As far as experimenting goes, this is much better to the experimenters’ own interests.