Volcano the Bear

500 Boy Piano

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AllMusic Review by

500 Boy Piano begins with "Hairy Queen," a short, rollicking group singalong with only a sporadic drum beat as instrumental accompaniment until the end, when a flute joins in. "Hairy Queen" is a strange little song, but after that the group dive quickly into far stranger territory, free-form improvisations, weird drones, and soundscapes, mixed with more chanting and singing and even some British folk influences here and there, all weaved together organically to give their music quite amount of depth. Whereas the 14-minute "The Tallest People in the World" is almost a Dadaist opera in three parts, with lots of nonsense vocal droning to odd flutes and murky sound effects, "Wooden Sailus" is a short whimsical acoustic piece with a lot of ethno-Celtic flair. The title track starts off with some electro-collage and spirals off into varied surreal soundscapes and ends with a minimalist piano rift and more chanting with the ever-present weird sounds in the background. "I Am the Mould" starts off as another quirky song, adds in some Faust-like instrumental elements, and ends with more contemplative minimalist piano. Through it all Volcano the Bear remain as experimental as ever, without treading in the same territory as earlier releases. In fact, it seems as if they have taken some of the best elements of their previous albums and enhanced and expanded on them for something quite new.

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