Vertacyn Arc Materializer New Album 'Phlodd'
Vertacyn Arc Materializer’s Phlodd album is an 11-track collection of experimental pieces. If you like, say, The Residents and other admittedly oddball rock outfits, this off-kilter set of recordings will float your canoe down the roaring rapids.
Sometimes, these offerings incorporate spoken sections. “The Brazilian” begins with a spoken part, but then goes into a sung section. The track’s instrumentation, however, sounds a lot like more traditional Brazilian music. It’s a quiet, thoughtful piece. More fun than that, though, is one called “Slides.” It jumps right into an electric guitar chords and percussion sonic base. The song’s vocal talked out dryly, like one of those old Joe Frank In the Dark public radio programs. Joe Frank created these stories where he would tell his tales over a somewhat ambient music bed. It seemed like every story began and ended the same way. It started by describing a kind of utopia, then ended with a hellscape. However, this Phlodd recording sounds like a car insurance advertisement, instead, where its primary character drives a Chevy Malibu. It also includes plenty of electric guitar music, and rocks much harder than the rest of the album. There’s even a sweetly sung part toward the end. At 7:45, this is the album’s longest track.
Some of the album’s song titles are entertaining all by themselves. For instance, one title is “Ikea Stock Split.” One of its lyrics finds a guy sitting on a sofa “thinking all about Ikea.” Most of us, unless we work for the company, think very little about Ikea. Not this guy, though, because it sounds as though he’s borderline obsessed with the furniture store. Another one, and this is a far gentler and quieter track, is “You Can Always Be Lucky All Of The Time.” Of course, we all know that’s impossible, unless you stretch the definition of ‘lucky’ to incorporate everything that happens to a person. It’s sung with a high, vulnerable vocal. A third title that grabs one’s attention is “Moth In A Butterfly Collection.” It’s another one of the harder rocking album tracks. Don’t we all sometimes feel like moths in a butterfly collection? As though we just don’t quite fit in? It’s a thoughtful song title, as well as a deep, reflective thought.
The album opens with “Thank You Florida!,” which is most certainly intended to be sarcastic. It’s performed at a slow pace, with plenty of lyrical facts and observations about The Sunshine State. You get the feeling this guy is okay visiting the state, but he doesn’t really want to live there.
Phlodd is certainly not everyone’s cup of tea. It never goes down smooth at all, nor is it intended to be consumed that way. It’s clanky and noisy and raw. But it’s also smart and memorable. If you like music a
little on the weird side, though, this might be the perfect brew for you. Yes, Vertacyn Arc Materializer may strike some as severely left of center. Yet, if you give this music a chance, it’s also – in its own
unique way – likeable.