Minus Story – Moebius Syndrome

Minus Story
Moebius Syndrome

Have you ever been to one of those art museums that has lots of post modern paintings? Particularly I am talking about the ones that show canvases painted solid black or the ones that look like a four-year old splattered paint everywhere. There is a true dichotomy of sentiment that people feel towards these works of art. Some view them as true genius and say they really convey a lot of feeling and emotion to the viewer, while others disregard them as pure crap and feel their true place belongs in a dumpster out in the parking lot. This is the exact same feeling I get from listening to Minus Story’s second album Moebius Syndrome. I not only find the album extremely difficult to listen to and review, but the release makes absolutely no sense to me musically. I have absolutely no idea where these guys are coming from. The music itself is extremely sloppy and highly unorganized. Guitars sounds painfully out of tune for the most part, drums barely keep the beat and are anything but clear and crisp, and vocals are hauntingly off key. It’s hard to decipher whether the band actually has any talent whatsoever or whether this sound is crafted to sound so horrid on purpose. This whole aesthetic does very little for me.
Minus Story began its early stages as the work of Jordan Geiger (vocals/guitar) and Nick Christus (drums/percussion), who have been playing together for many years. While writing songs (if you can call them that) for their debut album they decided to bring in bassist Brian Phillips to help fill in the low end. For the follow-up to their debut, Belle Ame, the trio decided to record it themselves on a 16-track hard disc recorder. The material was released in its current incarnation on the newly formed Louisville, KY label The Mercrider Record Co.
After sitting down with the CD on many occasions, I found it to be nothing more than a headache in the form a plastic silver disc. While I wanted to be purely objective about the release I find reviewing it to be a difficult task at the very least. It is frustrating to listen to the first track, “Under The Knife,” because it starts out with an interesting clean guitar part that sounds relatively catchy. Unfortunately after a few moments some of the most horrendous vocals come in and try to find their way with the band; they never really accomplish this task. The drumming is equally as painful because it sounds like the drummer doesn’t care at all for what he is playing, as if he is simply going through the motions of the beat. The scary thing about this release is that out of all of the 12 tracks found on Moebius Syndrome, I found the first one to be the most enjoyable. I could sit here and rehash various details about each track, but since I found little redeeming, I will spare both myself the effort, you (the reader) the time, and the band the humiliation. Instead I will suggest that this release is not for everyone; in fact, it is not for most people.
The last thing I will say is that I was curious what others thought of this release since it obviously did not agree with me in the least bit. I found a few reviews, and one in particular said that it takes many, many listens to fully understand what they are trying to do with their songs. This might be the case, but my personal opinion is that the music should at least but somewhat enjoyable upon the first listen to encourage additional listenings later on. In fact I listened to this CD back two months ago, and it did not agree with me then. I thought that by taking some time away from it I might be able to come back to it and give it a second chance. I am sure some people out there might find it somewhat of an enjoyable listen, especially those die-hard Modest Mouse fans whose ears and minds are trained for such sloppiness and disorder. For the rest of us who are used to hearing melodically constructed songs, I advise you to use extreme caution when handling such material. On more of a positive note, the artwork and layout of the CD were done in a very professional manner.