Bill Gould and Jared Blum – “The Talking Book”

Album Reviews | Sep 8th, 2011

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Record Label: Koolarrow Records
Genre: Experimental
Band Link:
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Bill Gould (formerly of Faith No More) and Jared Blum (Blanketship) have crafted a lengthy album of minimal and abstract sounds (and non-sounds) for your eye-rolling pleasure.

The only way this album works is as a meditation on the pretentiousness of spooky gallery installation soundtracks. However, since there doesn’t seem to be any sense of irony here, I’m guessing any genre- or self-parody is unintentional. That means that, amazingly, “The Talking Book” is a sincere effort.

Whether it’s 10 minutes of random tinny piano notes in excruciatingly slow intervals, or a single synth note dragged out for minutes for bad 2001: Space Odyssey-ish cinematic effect, or just a wash of meandering guitar fuzz, it is unbearably pointless. And since artists have been doing this for 40 years, it’s not even artful in an innovative or reactionary sense. (Add some motorik beats and this might be fractionally as interesting as Neu!’s 1972 album.)

Even the most lackadaisical ambient music has more effort and creativity than this collection of self-indulgent and pot-clouded studio noodling. If the album were simply digital downloads, we could safely ignore it, but that it was pressed on CD is an unforgivable waste of resources. Although I’m a fan of Faith No More, ambient music, and even krautrock like Neu!, this gets the rare zero stars.

Bottom Line: Bill Gould’s first recorded output in over a dozen years and you wonder why he bothered.
Notable Tracks: N/A
Overall Rating:


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