Dr. Snitch

Music for Uninspected Elevators

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Fascinating project after fascinating project has materialized out of the Johnny Society/Church of Betty orbit, and this idiosyncratic effort is no exception to the rule. Dr. Snitch is actually multi-instrumentalist Brian Geltner, who conceptualized and executed the entirety of Music for Uninspected Elevators essentially on his own, playing every instrument and performing every part based on the rudimentary piano tracks and open-tuned guitar melodies he wrote himself. The album would at least stand as a virtuoso display of studio musicianship in this regard; that it happens to be teeming with intriguing musical ideas, however, is a delightful bonus. The result of Geltner's experimentation is a collection of imaginary cues to an imaginary film or films, but one that entirely avoids the mediocrity into which many legitimate scores tend to sink. Some of these pieces do in fact sound incidental, occasionally lurking without thematic development or denouement, or left seeking a direction, as if in need of an accompanying visual off which to work. Never, however, are they sterile, nor less than engrossing as stand-alone soundscapes: imbued with their own plot turns, multifaceted in their implied narratives, steeped in dramatic momentum. Music for Uninspected Elevators does not lack for anxious and nervy action sequences ("3001, A Waste Odyssey," "Howe Caverns"), nebulous sci-fi ("I Can See Into the Future"), eerie and ambiguous noir ("France in a Nutshell," "Fairy Land"), or splendidly surreal and disorienting whimsicality ("Federal Bureau of Infestation," "The Clown Keeper," "Rocky Hudson") of a sort that Danny Elfman might compose for the spookier Tim Burton ventures. Fans of the Hand's Mule Me will recognize some of the same bold, encyclopedic production touches ("Old Song From Uranus," "Rabbit Footing") as well. For an album that began as a diverting exercise, the album is not only for those with specialized tastes. It shows sensational songwriting versatility and, coupled with such a fecund musical imagination, suggests Dr. Snitch could become more than a mere side project.