Preposterous!

November 12, 2012
By

Got your attention? The title character of the song above is also it’s author -one and the same with the tall, writerly frontman of Detroit-based pyschedelic-power-pop-panache-peddling quartet The High Strung… – His 2nd proper solo album – an expansive trip unwound on bandcamp and rambled-about-below… came out this weekend.

The writer is blindfolded and twirled about – swinging a bat at the pinata of placement, hoping to puncture and spill out substantive description, and yet…

Every preceding song becomes a new deliriously charming preoccupation. Old tyme barbershop quartets dent bubblegum aesthetics until looped and spliced encyclopedic-smacking segments on dog breeds is jangled away by nervy squalls of shimmering acoustic guitar strums and then barren Cpt.-Beefheart-conjuring blues-twanging guitars burp and groove and splay into reverberations of a dreamy dread…

And the writer does not know where to start or which song to pick and which one might be his favorite – this one is the weirdest until this next one becomes the weirdest… I’ve lost my regard for four songs back; I must return…re-stream…

What room, what song, was I just in… This haunted house needs a map–there’s 36 entrances that seem to lock from the outside; but no distress… the stories, the characters, the implied perils and enriching wonders held within each melodic novella inevitably entrance any invitee into staying…

Picture another kind of Emily Dickinson pulled from a parallel dimension, scribbling sticky-note sized songs up in her attic while spiraling like a wound-up post-Edwardian-furled butterfly, round-n-round her inspiration-chamber in a zero-gravity-affecting psychotropic-induced trip reaping terrible and terrific anthems, just bursting from her bubbly brain… it might sound like this album…

Weird quirks are unearthed as we sift through each room. There’s enough songs on here thus that almost, almost , every one of them starts with each respective Letter of the Alphabet! …Except Y… Why not?? But many songs seem preoccupied with beastly things…mythological/supernatural creatures seemingly arrested in their transformation between man and manimal… That these songs were strung-together at almost a one-per-day average production speed spanning the last eight weeks or so of Mssr. Malerman’s personally-inspired Autumn season -they are inherently lo-fi, guttural, and ebullient (if eerie). They are a compendium of cracked nursery rhymes singing with as much silly…with as much sinister…with as much cerebral tone to their twirly nature about an unnerving sense of just not yet quite transformed…just not yet quite ended…just not quite having found…the way out…the end of the song…they flit away with caprice and charming madcap.

Most importantly; our Strung singer is defying tradition, defying verse-chorus-verse and, above all, defying any apprehension over: whether this is universally appealing…or accessible. The songs dare you to access-them, even, enter…if you’re curious… You may come out altered

I am changing form… I may not return…

artwork by Jenny Harley

*More coherent review to follow in forthcoming print issue of Metro Times….once all this psychotropic melody-matter is sifted through and analyzed further…

For now… dig the dazzling album art