Michael O'Neill

Scream of Consciousness

  • AllMusic Rating
    5
  • User Ratings (0)
  • Your Rating

AllMusic Review by

A great title is insufficient to pump life into this odd set of solo numbers and redeem an inconsistent though somewhat unusual stylistic approach to the guitar. Michael O'Neill collects disparate elements from electronica, folk music, classical music, jazz, pop, avant-garde, and rock in a mélange of diversity that curiously suffers from tedium. Many of the tracks were home-recorded and the sound quality suffers unsurprisingly, minimizing the appeal. Nonetheless, on occasion O'Neill impresses, cautiously mixing elements through his guitar and associated electronics. While the improvisations appear to be freely constructed, and there are no melodies, the end results are generally fairly conservative, even mellow, as O'Neill favors slower tempos and tempered volume, eking out variations on sound. "Dream Residue" builds slowly to a crescendo before subsiding. "Alien Echo Mill" is seven seconds of quiet, while "Self Erasing" sounds like a wind tunnel segueing to a percussionistic swarm of insects. Some of the tracks, such as "Cellophane Tear Drop," are curiously tame, even new age-y, particularly compared with other releases from the usually adventurous and iconoclastic Spring Garden label. By the end of the recording, the listener may be impressed with O'Neill's skills and even his creativity and individuality, but will likely be left a bit unfulfilled from this checkered effort.