THE FUN YEARS – GOD WAS LIKE, NO (BARGE, 2010)

God created space and the cosmos. Then the sun and moon, and the Earth too. On the Earth, he put oceans and mountains and plants and animals. Then on the Earth, he also flung a couple of people in a Garden and told them what not to do. Those two people screwed up.

And then God was like, “no.”

The waters started to dry up. The mountains started to crumble. We’ve been pretending to “progress” ever since. But we’ve been diminishing, decreasing, cowering back, even (and especially) while we’ve been growing.

I’m not saying that the Fun Years’ new album is some kind of concept record. And I’m not saying the Fun Years are God (at least not one with a capital “G”…) I’m just saying that the pictures painted here with their guitars and turntables are not exactly pretty. They’re not exactly ugly, of course—far, (VERY) far from it—but they definitely exist within the realm of decay. These tracks are de-composing. Each one feels like it’s slowly falling apart, wailing, sobbing, throbbing, and in pain. And yes, it’s the gorgeous kind of pain. Revolving snippets of melody, steaming under-currents of static, hypnotically pulsing bass, sinking sheets of sound like quicksand – all of it stewed in a cauldron to the boiling point and then evaporating. That’s another thing this music does: evaporate. It’s there, and then it’s gone, songs swish and swash right into each other as beautiful loops that seemingly took no time at all to create, destroy themselves perhaps just as quickly. This is also a bit maddening. In a world full of ambient artists looking to build, build, build, stack tones, turn that volume knob to the right and keep adding from there to achieve epic, 10-minute-plus monoliths of sound… the Fun Years are just like, “no.” Tracks stay short; rarely do they creep up on the 8-minute mark. They build just long enough to make their deterioration the focal point. Everything is fleeting, fascinating and fabulous. Each and every precious second brings a new sample, a new melody, a new something-you’re-not-sure-what-it-is, and gives you just enough time to realize how awe-inspiring it is before it decomposes at your feet in a mulchy pile.

When God says “no,” we say “yes.” Dear God, YES.

Crawf

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