Zeek Sheck: JOINUS 2xLP (Resipiscent Records, 2014)

August 17, 2014 at 3:54 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Zeek Sheck: JOINUS 2xLP

Zeek Sheck: JOINUS 2xLP

First album in over a decade from lo-fi experimental pop artist Zeek Sheck. The band has a concept about a society living in a complex underground maze, with one of the members of the society sending his son to the surface to see the sun. The inner gatefold of the LP shows this maze, which feature a series of blue, red, yellow and green doors, each of which correspond to a side of the double LP. The first disc (blue and red doors) focuses on shorter, poppier songs, although in Zeek Sheck’s world, poppy tends to mean repeated mantras like “join us” or “I am nothing”, over a basic, hypnotic lo-fi beat and flurries of noises. There’s also some spoken word narratives tying this together. The main singer has sort of a scratchy Daniel Johnston quality to her voice, but the songwriting and instrumentation and basically everything else is totally different. “Magnet” has a bit more of a folky melody than other songs here, but the music is a thudding drum machine beat with lots of crazy backward violin. It seems as if the society is doomed, however; the last song on the disc is called “Trapped” and it ends suddenly after a brief chant of “we are all going to die”, and the group’s website lists this as the project’s last album. But before it ends, there’s the album’s second disc (yellow and green doors), which features two longform compositions which take up the entirety of each side. “Notch Your Stick” (the Yellow Door side) starts with wordless vocals and bomb-shelter noise, later going through deep foghorns and ending with a long passage of intertwining clarinets and horns. “The Mind Will Travel” (the Green Door side) is bookended by more spoken-word narration, along with noise, spiralling synth patterns, and finally cascading pianos, before the epic conclusion to the story.

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