Hurray ! It’s summer ! Let’s all party and wear brightly coloured clothes and generally have a good time ! Who’s that over there in the black raincoat in the shade, smoking and looking glum ? Why …it’s Steve Von Till. You know…the guy from Neurosis. Oh. Cool. I love Neurosis. Hey, Steve….come over here dude. We’re having a barbecue and listening to some 2 Live Crew. No ? Why not dude ? It’s summer ! Come and have a good time with your buddies. Steve….why are you going in. What do you mean you’re going to stay indoors till it’s winter so you can smoke and watch the rain through the window…..pane ?
I found myself listening to this while delivering letters. It was hot and the sky was blue. This is the exact wrong set of condition for listening to this album. What you really need is to be alone in a cabin in some mountains, having just lost a loved one or dog or split up with someone. It needs to be raining and foggy and cold and you need to be utterly alone. Like Steve is.
I admire some aspects of this album. I like its minimalism and I like the fact that it’s dark and depressing. However some aspects of this album are intensely annoying. The songs are very simplistic and not hugely imaginative. At times I found myself thinking that some of the riffs and lyrics could quite feasibly have come from an angry / lonely teenage boy, not the guy from Neurosis. For example the emphatic pause between on the line “Staring through the window … pane”. He does have a characteristically slow delivery on Neurosis records but when you put all the elements of this together, it just comes over as too maudlin. There are nice touches though…the addition of a tiny frazzled synth on “Warning of a Storm” for instance but overall I think this is a record for Neurosis completists and the deeply depressed.