Fat Worm of Error

Pregnant Babies Pregnant with Pregnant Babies

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If nothing else, the album title's vision of a world untroubled by fertility crises is something to take heart in, if one is not a Malthusian. Overpopulation concerns aside, Fat Worm of Error's debut release quite literally clatters and clanks to life with "Special Bonus Thing," with snare drums and various martial beats eventually emerging from the metal shop floor into a flowing collage of percussion. It's actually a bit deflating to hear the episode of extreme vocal screeching and spazz guitar, but being a noise band means never having to say you're sorry. From there, Pregnant Babies staggers from mixes of semi-chanting and guitars that sound like they were staked out over anthills and made to cry to stretches of silence, with song titles like "Let's Fool the Meat to the Hassle Room" and "Laissez-Faire Is for the Birds" being the stock in trade. It's nice enough if one has a fondness for this approach, but at the same time revolting against various rules of music means that the end result seems less important than the process -- and a new set of rules to deal with, one of which appears to be to never allow oneself to create a memorable song at the expense of an experience. That said, there are enjoyable enough highlights -- the ending of "Mildew" gives a sense as to what would happen if that kind of sludge could come to life and rampage like King Kong, all sludgy noise and annoying tones, while the rhythmic squawks and squeals of "Brown" make it a good mood piece of sorts. Perhaps unsurprisingly, one of the other most notable moments is a digital beat fest called "Special Bonus Thing (Reprise)," so perhaps it's all in the naming.

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