no, never please. never stop.
Carey Mercer wrote 4 songs on Beast Moans - City Calls, The Partisan But He's Got to Know, Petersburg, Liberty Theater, 1914, and The Pollenated Girls, just as Spencer Krug wrote 4, with Bejar writing 5. from what i read about the recording of the album, each songwriter took the song they had wrote and directed the other members to play where they wanted them. very egalitarian and very balanced. perhaps where you're going is that Mercer's songwriting influenced the other two, which i wouldn't consider a bad thing, but i also don't see it too much. his sound is in a lot of the guitars since he plays many of the guitar parts, but songs like The Freedom are very Bejar, and Are You Swimming in Her Pools? is very Krug. listening to the album on my new fantastic headphones today made me appreciate just how well recorded and mixed the album is, despite near-universal panning of it as muddy and cluttered. the low end is especially impressive, as is the texture of the organs and synths. i think the percussion, without the use of a traditional drum set is spectacular and part of the records draw. it sounds very intimate. they definitely didn't phone in the songwriting either. they brought some ideas to a cabin in Whateverthefuck, Canada and banged this shit out in a collaborative spirit. that spirit is one of the records greatest strengths.
i wrote this about the album when i was 16:
It lacks the Issac Brock polish of Apologies to the Queen Mary, or even Destroyer's Rubies.
Shut Up I Am Dreaming was cleaner as well, and it's not as ridiculous as the early Sunset Rubdown.
It's not as hectic as any Frog Eyes.
It's a mix of all the aforementioned sonic styles. Why? Because it's all three of those band members. That may sound obvious, but most people have the farfetched idea that a supergroup would have each of them contributing 3 or 4 songs from their distinct style, throwing them into one album and calling it a day. What we have is a distinct style that incorperates what the three have been doing for years.
As you keep listening to Beast Moans, it begins to have a very homey feel. The tracks are familiar. They gain an instancy that isn't there the first time. Remember how many times you had to listen to All Fires when it was released to love it? If you're like me, you listened to it about 120 times in a weekend. Now you have to do it for 12 other songs.
On Beast Moans you will find:
-Songwriting indulgence from all three of our heroes, which is a good thing in this case.
-More "la la la's" from Dan Bejar.
-Lots and lots of bells and cymbals.
-Layers upon layers of background vocals and noise; keep your ears OPEN.
And you will learn:
-Just how important an organ loop in the background is; it can make of break a track.
-How unique a guitarist Carey Mercer is.
-That Spencer Krug is the best songwriter of the 21st century. His tracks absolutely blow me away. He was my favorite of the three coming into Swan Lake, and remains so as I listen.
Listen to Beast Moans from beginning to end a few times before you start picking tracks to listen to. Tracks like A Venue Called Rubela, Petersburg, Liberty Theater, 1914, and Pleasure Vessles are made so much better by inclusion of more "epic" tracks around them. Some say filler. Let's call them gateways, since they take you where you want to go - this albums greatest emotional peaks.
Maybe this feeling is just because I'm forcing myself to love this album because of who's in the band, but this is an album that isn't just a collection of music, but a feeling all it's own. I can't say I've listened to another album I can say the same thing about.
I hope these three continuing making music together and separately for a LONG time. I'll keep listening.
This "review" feels more like gushing than actual substance. Maybe Beast Moans is simply gushy.
it doesn't make as much sense to me now as it did then, but it conveys the emotional appeal of this disc.