Wednesday, April 13, 2011
ZOLA JESUS - STRIDULUM II
I am reviewing this because it's been on my work desk and staring at me for the best part of 5 months. Also because I am not entirely sure that the fawning and in-depth write up I want to give Deftones 'White Pony' would be appreciated by anybody apart from me (Just to say it's in my top 50 albums and if you don't own a copy get over that Nu-metal labeling and treat yourself).
I've had this in and out of the CD player (also on my desk) since around Christmas and it's really grown on me. To be honest I hadn't been sure what to expect. The personnel listing wasn't exactly inspiring: One person (Nika Rosa Danilova) with a keyboard. It could quite easily have fallen flat like a Jamie Lidell gig with a broken sequencer. But it doesn't. Given the lack of other instrumentation it's a surprisingly dense piece. It's brooding, dark, haunting, it's all of those other words that appeared in reviews of the record when it came out in the middle of last year.
The whole album is like an elongated study of This Mortal Coil's version of 'Song to a Siren', and if you ever saw that track used in the trailer for the remake of Texas Chainsaw Massacre then those visuals add even more credence to that line of thinking. It comes from a very black and pained place, somewhere close to death.
Another thing that undoubtedly every review of this so far will have pointed out is how close her Nika's vocal range is to that of Siouxsie Sioux. At first her delivery was massively grating but like the music that accompanies it, in time you find yourself immersed.
Despite all of this and my repeat listening at work, I am trying to think of circumstances where I might choose this as a soundtrack and I am coming up short. You can't really have sex to it unless that sex involves ropes and potentially knives. I wouldn't want to drive to it, unless my driving culminated with a high-speed and slow motion chase resulting in my untimely and messy crash based death. It's not ironing music unless I am contemplating ironing my hand and or face. You get the picture - It's very emotional, borderline wallowing music or like I said, maybe something you play when you are having knife sex.
So given I don't intend for copious amounts of blood to feature in any love making in which I might partake I will leave this on my desk, safe in the knowledge that it's a suitable accompaniment to putting together elongated and over-styled Power Point presentations.