Minty Rocksmacker and Vsevelod's Old Brown Gowns - Don or Dennis: Vsevelodyssey

Minty Rocksmacker and Vsevelod's Old Brown Gowns
Don or Dennis: Vsevelodyssey

Released 2018 on bandcamp
Reviewed by DachshudWee, 25/05/2020ce

I remember a Primal Scream album review from the late 90s calling it Post Modern Psychedelic Dub Rock. This is that. This is weird. It came with a list of influences, that reads a bit like the one on Freak Out - I copied it and pasted it below

LOTS of people and things have made this record what it is. Don’t hold it against them. They include:

Frank Zappa, Ween, R Kelly, Grooven Ruben, Darth Wader, the Borg, Barstucks Coffee, leaflets for Rock City, TN, John & Paul, Pere Übu, Dean & Gene, Mulligan & O,Hare, Hammond, Bad Card, Elliot Carter, Bagpuss, Matt Berry, Wikipedia, Warhammer 40k, Tom Scippe, Joe, The Mighty Boosh, Stephanie Thompson, Baker, Davy Graham, Teo Macero, Joe Strummer, Beefheart, Vivian Stanshall, All the Igors, Barnes & Noble, the States of California, Indiana, Ohio, Tennessee, and Florida, Leo Theremin, Lev Bronstein, Rabbi Mengel, TJ, Squee, Mr Hose, Ennio Morriccone, Berengaria, Pegasus Books, Bradford, PTSD, Kanye West, Richey James, Steve MCQueen, El-P, Graham from Blur, Blumo, Eric Dolphy, R Stevie Moore, Langley Schools Music Project, Rodd Keith, Kool Keith, Zoot Horn Rollo, Lata Mangeskar, Can, PiL, Kevin Rowland, Peter Tosh, Lee Perry, Sun Ra, Scarfolk Council, Jim Jupp, Stewart Lee, Les Paul, Roland Kirk, Mingus, Bookends, Vernon Elliot, Basil Kirchin, The Persuasions, Judy Henske,Kate Bush, Björk, Bright Phoebus, Cold Sun, Boots, Garro, Public Enemy, Dune, Blade Runner, Van der Valk, Vic Reeves, Baby Cow, Greasus Goldtooth, Swamp Dogg, Roky Erickson, Syd Barrett, Arthur Lee, Mingus, Nina Simone, Julian Cope, Blackalicious, Van Dyke Parks, Funkadelic, Pavement, Luke Haines, Miss T, Mr T, Tenacious D, John Cale, Steve Warner, Cannibal Ox, Aphex Twin

I suppose the record does sound like some of the above, those with whom I'm familiar.

The main body of this guy's many aliased oeuvre is two unfinished biographical Concept Albums that aren't quite like anything else I have listened to recently. It's sounds a bit like Beta Band or Animal Collective to me, but there's odd touches of Faust and very odd fake advertising jingles that are funny and unsettling.

I'll describe the record, it's got 25 tracks, but some have lyrics and no audio, but most have accompanying artwork a bit like the cover. Like Faust.

Dirty Prelude - short and mostly instrumental, it's got lots of delayed and reverbed percussion and a creepy reed instrument snaking and writhing around a chanted whispered chorus of 'we listen, we wait'. Creepy

Ignoble Prologue - a spoken word piece about the background of the titular character. It's a bit like the central scrutinizer prologue from Joe's Garage, but with ping pong arcade machine noises and lots of crazy tunes you hear again later

Certified Fibre Sourcing TN - a normal pop song about Rock City in Tennessee. It starts with sad harmonica and muted wah guitar and ends with Latin piano. There's a lot of mistakes and the are all left in, sometimes a hat is hung on them, as it to highlight their existence. Unusual.

Papery! - instrumental interlude with all burbling and gurgling synth noises like eno and cluster. Short and fun

Dirty Pillows - fake advert for something with a sample of maybe add n to X behind it. Funny and strange

Myarmdoesnotbendthisway (intro) - instrumental piano intro to next song (sounds not much like it)

Ten Arm Bandit ( demo) - Another pop song with guitars and what sounds like a key change. It all drops away towards the end, and concludes with the singer mocking himself through multitracking for forgetting the words.

Dum de Dum - acappella Doo Wop. It's lyrics are 'so dumb, so fucking dumb'. And so it is.

Life During Shark Week - Another story but told in jazz style like Zappa's meltdown. Odd.

Sac du Merde for Strings - sort of stately pizzicato and legato strings and double bass with a sick lurching feel.

Kunterstaecksz - Another fake ad. For counters? Introduces the game companies of Kunterbunt and Kunterstaecks. They will return.

Clocking into the Cabinet - R Kelly homage, the first of several. Sounds like it's recorded over something else - that's going to happen again.

Dying on the Vine - Relatively straight acoustic guitar cover of the well known John Cale track. Sounds like two performances - one in each channel.

Wadesday - collage of sounds. Sounds like an interview is happening behind it.

Do Come - I'm not sure what this is - it sounds like a radio segment, but there's some inhuman screaming on the track and jazz that pops out of nowhere. It's slowed down and funereal and the spoken word bit about hills and wandering is unsettling

More Undifferentiated Issues, Igor - nifty little multitracked guitar piece. Quite sprightly and bright.

Wood - I think there's a bassoon on this - sounds like he hates Woods by Bon Iver and crapped all over it.

In some Cultures Cuter - Another pop song on piano and organ about a 'waspish bland bobo Sloan cunt'. Devolves into a drum solo, but I think the drum track is the only finished one, because it doesn't sound like a solo.

Clutching the Borderline - vocal version of the Igor song above. Murky and overdubbed into soup like Sly Stone.

Clocking out - Another interlude - more R Kelly tribute? Well why not.

Derangels - finale - loud and strange - longer than all the other songs and seems to revisit most of them. Also features the theme song to Dogtanian. Some wicked wah guitar but a lot of clattery drums and piano

Reach for Ground - Matt Berry Cover. I like the original, but this is very odd - seems to fit the album in the same way the Cale song di d. He seems to really mean it.

So there we have it. It's long and messy and very weird. I like it, and listen to it often, but I don't have a physical copy of it and I'm not sure one exists. Well worth a listen, even if it is a splurge of unfinished goo with far too much 're verb on everything.

There's another one to review, which sounds different and looser with a lot more guitar and fewer real songs. But I'll cover it another day. Check it out.

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