Desert Fathers The Spirituality

It must be ancient or obscure language, but this album opens with strange chanting and what sounds like a kid sing-speaking in tongues. Now if only the rest of the CD was that cool, "Agnus Dei” (the chanty track) leads into something that is best described as indie rock going for a joyride with some retro ‘80s and art metal, then colliding with a tree. The Desert Fathers could be catchy, kitschy and maybe even lowbrow artsy experimental cool if what they were trying to do was done well, but unfortunately it isn’t. Despite the rather professional sounding recording (which I credit to Steve Albini who sat in the engineer’s chair for this), the content on all but three or four standout tracks is weak and what should be musical and quirkily melodic, oftentimes borders more on the grating, headache-inducing side of things. Imagine the most dissident track on an early-ish Modest Mouse album, add cover artwork full of biblical quotes and then multiply the whole thing by ten tracks. Despite all the buzz surrounding this album and Brooklyn’s self-proclaimed "sonic nomads,” it is really only for the most hardcore of college art rock and experimental indie noise fans, as most everyone else probably just wouldn’t get it. (Threespheres)