02 October 2013
Almost a year after the release of the excellent Even When The Time Comes EP, Pennsylvania musician Brandon Locher's inventive project The Meets have released their new full length It Happens Outside. I must say, right off the bat just reading this album's credit, I had a feeling I was about to get into a musically dense and sonically experimental territory. The LP was mastered by the infamous Nick Zammuto of the amazing band The Books (R.I.P) and of course Zammuto. You can definitely hear that influence of The Books on this record; incredibly eclectic, dense and very hard to pin a genre to. Another sign of this album's huge sound mass (that's a word, right?) is the list of 20 musicians that contributed to the sounds on this record. And you've literally got everything on this record as far as instrument being played: cello, violin, crystal bowls, TV, shruti box, etc. And you definitely tell while listening to this record that Mr. Locher took full advantage of all the instruments being played and all 20 musicians on deck.
Each track is just an incredibly well oiled machine. Despite the incredibly unpredictable nature of these songs (trust me when I say that), it still feels like Brandon is leading these masses of sounds and putting them exactly where he wants them and where they should be. The first 7 tracks on this record are all pretty excellent, each song leads right into another and they sound superb. My favorite one is "She Who Laughed Last", it sounds like a very traditional jazz/funk song that someone gave some acid and made into a very panoramic and wild 2 minute burst of energy. The next tracks continue the style that the first 7 set, but continue to progress the ideas with further interesting sounds and instruments. I love the very strong jazz/funk sound on the 8th and 9th tracks that reminds me of some Beats Antique songs actually. But, like I said in the first part of the review, I love how all of the sounds are actually being played live. "The Witching Hour" is an interesting composition, it keeps evolving into more and more sounds. At first it starts out with some somber guitar, leading up into an explosive mass of instrumental power, and it continues to swirl around for another few minutes till it leads into the 7 minute long "As A Period In Which Nothing Happens". This track is definitely Locher's most experimental moment on this album. All those jazz elements that the previous songs held suddenly turns into this long and weird free jazz orchestra piece. I love listening to it, it's definitely the most odd track on this record and it's so incredibly well done. It's easily my favorite song on the album. Then this trip of an album comes to abrupt end with "Broadcast Fireworks Display (Pt. 2)". It's a very chilled out and trippy end to an excellent LP. It just feels like all the wild sounds on the record led up to this point, and they all just froze in time and then it's just over.
All in all, It Happens Outside is an incredibly original and interesting album. Brandon Locher's created a batch of songs that honestly remind me of the very first time I listened to a record like The Lemon Of Pink. It's just so radically different than what my previous musical standards where, and it's just a venture through sound different than any other. I highly recommend checking this album out. You can download the record and buy the awesome vinyl LP made available by Locher's imprint My Idea Of Fun here. Enjoy!