The Dissociatives

The Dissociatives

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You could call the Dissociatives something of a mini-supergroup, at least in Australia. Singer and guitarist Daniel Johns is the leader of that continent's alt-rock darlings Silverchair, while keyboardist and producer Paul Mac is a highly successful DJ and remixer who has worked on several Silverchair projects in recent years. Mac and Johns discovered that they had a unique musical chemistry, and the catalytic process resulted in an experimental EP in 2000. Its follow-up is this strange and charming full-length album, a ten-track exploration of swooning pop melodicism, weird and blippy electronics, and slightly barmy lyrics. The melodies are what strike you first, of course, especially on such Beatles-worthy fare as "Horror with Eyeballs" and the instrumental "Lifting the Veil from the Braille." The goofy electronic ornaments sneak up and take you by surprise (listen carefully to "Somewhere Down the Barrel") and you'll miss the lyrical quirks if you don't listen for them -- notice the "so far" in the couplet "All of this time on my hands/So far has gone to feeding my animals." The album starts out strong and stays that way for about the first six or seven tracks, then fades out with something of a whimper, but those first six tracks are promising indeed. Recommended.

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