The Residents

Intermission [Mole Trilogy]

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Originally issued on LP in 1982, this 25-minute long EP will probably be sought out primarily by fans of the group, given its obscure provenance; it consists of prelude, intermission, and "recessional" music written to accompany The Mole Show, the traveling musical road show that the Residents put together in the early 1980s. The Mole Show was an adaptation based on a (still uncompleted) musical-dramatic trilogy depicting a race of mole people attempting to make its collective way in an unwelcoming world. But even though only fans are likely to know about this recording and seek it out, those who want a good, concise introduction to the band's unique musical worldview could do far worse than to start here. The five compositions on this program are not really in song form -- at times, particularly on the "recessional," the "New Hymn," the sound is almost a sort of ambient minimalism. But "Shorty's Lament" is nicely organized and beautifully performed, in a slightly creepy way. The same is true for the poignant, but somewhat more explicitly creepy, "Would We Be Alive?" Recommended.

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