Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower - 2003 Dissertation, Honey

Band : The Plot To Blow Up The Eiffel Tower
Album : Dissertation, Honey
Release Year : 2003
Genre : Post-Hardcore / Jazz / Experimental

Tracklist :
1. Exhibitionism
2. Sometimes I Wish I'd Lost a Leg
3. One Stab Deserves Another
4. Funeral Procession
5. For Marcus
6. Johnny, You're All Grown Up
7. Her Health Violation
8. Attached to the Hip
9. Circuit
10. It's in His Kiss
11. Comeback 1968
12. Safety Is Of
13. Monotonous

Ironically, for all the no wave skronk to be found on this album The Plot to Blow Up the Eiffel Tower made a lot of waves in their time. Bringing a furious performance to match their music, the stage antics of Brandon Welchez are well documented. The band sounds loud and hard on the album, and in person they sound louder and harder. When you left one of their shows you were bruised and bleeding from the ears. And, if you’re a fan of hardcore punk that’s not afraid to shake things up, you probably had the time of your life.
Their 2003 release Dissertation, Honey is a very divisive album. Most people either love it or hate it, and while I am most definitely one of the former I can see how some people would not enjoy this. Part of this depends on the listener of course. If a punk/jazz mashup doesn’t sound appealing to you, chances are Dissertation, Honey is not going to change your mind. However, if you’re a fan of post-hardcore and not against a little experimentation this album could be just what you’re looking for. Perhaps.

However all this analysis is thrown out the window when you’re actually listening to this album. The band may trip you up with their free jazz tendencies, but when they settle into a groove they straight up rock. Much is owed to the bassist Willy Graves (RIP). Whether he’s giving “One Stab Deserves Another” its funky edge or single handedly holding up “Circuits” with his thick lines, he does an awesome job. And of course there’s the frontman Welchez. His frantic cries on “Sometimes I’d Wish I’d Lost A Leg” are so downright infectious, you’ll find yourself singing along unconsciously, screaming “now my hand’s in the hive” in your car and getting strange looks from passersby. Or maybe that’s just me.
So yes, Dissertation, Honey may not be an easy listen. It’s post-hardcore that owes more to John Zorn’s Naked City than Nation of Ulysses. It’s about half an hour’s worth of dissonant riffs bookended by spoken word pieces by Beat poet Kailani Amerson. But dissonance is this band’s strong suit. This is a band that managed to win San Diego’s Best Punk Act 2 years running, and at the same time get banned from Baltimore for their shenanigans on stage. So while you may not be able to experience their unique form of aural chaos in person anymore, you can always throw on this album whenever you’re in the mood for some great punk rock.

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