Boomkat Product Review:
Ambient music, as a rule, isn’t very funny. This isn’t a bad thing - comedy music isn’t worth listening to for the most part, but if you were going to make a batch of hilarious tunes for worldwide release, you probably wouldn’t set your sights on hazy ambient music as its vessel. Manchester operative Danny Saul is aware of this, and though this concept album is focused on the legendary rivalry between two American comedians (Sam Kinison and Bobcat Goldthwaite) there is nothing comic about the music itself. Instead Saul picks out the tragedy and intensity of the feud, and leaves the setting untouched – Kinison and Goldthwaite could have been electricians or shop assistants even, it hardly matters as their tense emotional conflict is mirrored harrowingly in the deep, dark drones of this record. Using a combination of synthesized, heavily effected tones and delicately plucked acoustic guitar, Saul funnels his sounds through layers of distortion and feedback, eventually arriving on the album’s blissfully noisy mid-point ‘Robert Francis’. Coming across like Yellow Swans after a hefty dose of Ketamine, this track is the perfect representation of Saul’s style – well composed, almost beautiful, but tense and seismic in its use of grit and dirt. The wall of noise gradually subsides to reveal a pristine Machinefabriek-esque drone (it’s hardly surprising that the two were recent touring partners) before falling into the cacophonous sorrow of ‘On Howard Stern’. The two comedians famously clashed on Stern’s popular radio show, and this bashing of heads is brought to life with stuttering bass and wailing, crashing guitar drones. Concept albums should always tell a story and ‘Kinison – Goldthwaite’ certainly does that, with its rich narrative seeping from every moment of the record. So the album might not be very funny, but then who needs another Flight of the Conchords record anyway? Am I right? Lovely.