East River Pipe Garbageheads on Endless Stun

F.M. Cornog lives somewhere in suburban New Jersey, the Garden State. To listen to his latest album, it’s easy to picture a casual drive through the leafy streets on a cool autumn day with a mind full of melancholy and some old new wave singer/songwriter on the tape deck. If his last album seemed to drive around and go nowhere fast, both lyrically and musically, this obtuse title hits some direct targets, namely residents of gated communities and other compromised existences. Adulterers, prostitutes, assassins, suicidal priests, and other "Monumental Freaks” populate these perverse pop songs that seem so innocuous on their suburban surface. Cornog’s bedroom recordings, with synth strings and ’80s drum machines, timelessly transcend their potential cheese and become grandiose and weightless. Add to all of this his haunting melodic sense, and it’s nothing short of stunning. (Merge)