Monday, October 16, 2017

Significant Features: Wireheads Return!

As expected by now, the newest Wireheads record relies on rambling and riffs, all sorts of little earworms and passively rolled-out lyrics. Opener "Technical Man" sees Dom Trimboli declaring, "What a wonderful world/one can still write when one never learned quite how to spell/I've got a number two addiction and I'm spitting out fiction with the most incredible diction." Would love to call him the Ma$e of Australia but his drawl is about tied with the pace of Courtney Barnett's. If this were hip hop it might be lazy, but the delivery has more of a coolness to it, a we're having a party and you can join or not something or other about it.

It's no surprise that they'd record an album with the Bill Murray of independent music, Calvin Johnson. That they did, as with 2015's Big Issues, and you can hear him muttering all over "Technical Man."

Lightning Ears has got a great deal of variety to it, and this record is all over the place, but Wireheads also seem to run much more smoothly than when they began. You can hear the stomp of Adam Ant's "Physical (You're So)" on "Beaches with Significant Features," and sure, Trimboli wouldn't sound so sexy slurring "I wanna date ya, baby." He's instead thought up a rhyme that only an Australian's accent could enunciate, and ends each line like he's about to give up on the song.

There's "Pluto Was a Planet," backed by a chorus of shouty children and which naturally recalls, "When I was a child/Pluto was a planet/it was a named by a little girl/for the god of the underworld/right after she died/it was reclassified," making it mildly historically inaccurate. And there's "Nathan J. Roche," a tribute to a writer whom those of us in the U.S. are probably frantically looking up now that we know he's "amazing, like Aurora Borealis." [Indeed, it might be true that he's amazing; Paris has apparently treated Roche "like a wayward stranger with a steel pan on a shoebox and a heart of fool’s gold."]

There's just so much information to inspire all the stories on Lightning Ears, and while it may not be the type of poetry that'll have you unpacking it for months, it's clever without sacrificing any of the bits that make it a fun listen.

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