Sunday, March 02, 2008

That's When I Reach for My Revolver!

I was listening to
Sound Opinions a few days ago (If you've never listened to it, do yourself a favor. Jim DeRogatis and Greg Kot are both really knowledgeable and interesting.) and the main focus of the episode was an analysis of the my favorite Beatles album, Revolver. The piece focused a lot on the revolutionary aspects of the album's sound, particularly on "Tomorrow Never Knows". I listened to the show, then spun the album a couple times. Then in the few days that followed, I've found myself noticing the song's influence in places I didn't expect it.

First example

I listened to TKK a little bit when I was 13, 14, intrigued by their evil imagery. As it turned out, their music isn't terrible evil, so I sort of lost interest in them. After I listened to Sound Opinions, I happened to give Confessions of a Knife a spin, and heard it in a very different way. Their use of manipulated, backwards sounding guitars, and their use of layering of the vocal tracks creates a lush atmospheric sound, very much in the vein of "Tomorrow Never Knows". Even the inclusion of the Middle Eastern vocal sample shows the worldly feel the Beatles were striving for when they wrote the song with allusions to the Tibetan book of the dead (I think it was a tibetan book, don't quote me on that.)

Second example

Excepter's dense art-rock certainly takes things in a completely different direction than TKK's industrial dance music. The influence is still clear, however. The song has a feel of other-worldliness to it, a sense of the supernatural, completely in line with the themes of "Tomorrow Never Knows". While the Beatles song uses the lyrics and sound to create the scene, Excepter relies purely on their droning organs, the layered vocals, and sporadic percussion to bring the listener into their realm.

Third example

This is one I brought up a long time ago with some folks, the Douchipster among them, and nobody agreed with me. I don't care, I'm sticking to my guns (my Revolvers if you will! yesss) on this point. Although not identical, there's a correlation to the way the drums sit beneath the track and the hook sample has the same eerie backwards feel to it.

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