Album: All Together
Comments: The first 50 seconds of “Bird,” the first and best track on Pattern is Movement’s third album All Together, are as triumphant as military trumpet. “I will never / all together,” commands Andrew Thiboldeaux, PiM’s singer. A choir responds, echoing Thiboldeaux’s chorus, only to have him call for it again. Drums thump in the background, off the beat of the vocals that drive the song as a xylophone provides the song’s melody, giving it a Saturday-morning-cartoon-meets-drama-class feel.
Then, just as things are established and the song is rolling along, things abruptly change. Gongs and wind instruments chime in, brining a whole new melody to the song. Not abrasive, but like a gentle, fickle wind that blows the song in a completely new direction with no warning or care for the listener, who moment before was enjoying some just fine pop music.
Such is the way on All Together, an album of avant-garde, dramatic indie pop that is so preoccupied with changing every 30 seconds that the listener can never catch up.
The reason this unfocused strategy can work in a genre like lo-fi or noise is because that kind of music is based on exploring chaos and finding substance within it. However, there is no chaos to be found on All Together. Every instrument is clean and planned, with no notes missed. Everything was thought of miles in advance. The changes are by design, not circumstance. Patter is Movement decided, consciously, to make an album that never settles.
It’s a shame really because there might be some legitimately good ideas littered thought this album. However, due to the ever-shifting nature of the songs, it’s not even fun to try and find them. Why look for the good when you can only get a gimps of it before its on to the next idea? Pattern is movement, indeed.
Rating: 3 out of 10
Key Tracks: Bird
Buy, Steal, or Skip: Skip