Review ·

Once upon a time, two young lads named Kirk Hellie and Christopher O'Brien quit their respective bands, Pink Noise Test and Brian Jones Was Murdered, and hightailed it over to a happy little castle in the magical land of Los Angeles.


"Chris, let's start a band together," Kirk said.

"Why yes, Kirk. That sounds like an excellent idea," Christopher replied gleefully.

The pair posted a sign on the front door of a room in the castle, announcing that it would be "Kirk's Studio" so that not a single gnome could rightfully enter and interrupt their musical journey. To prepare for their first big creation, they decided to stock their room with a few necessities: a guitar, a bass, a keyboard, white bunnies (refueling), a stereo, and a mix tape full of some inspirational goodies like Elliott Smith, the Beach Boys and Pink Floyd.

They slaved away at their instruments, creating endless sounds of melodic pop and theme songs for the visitors of the beaches surrounding their castle. Drawing inspiration from their muse of a mixtape, however, they soon decided that they were growing tired of sweet sounds and felt that it was about time for a jam session. After bargaining with an elf who was conveniently touring their castle, they managed to exchange a bunny for some recording equipment and captured some epic guitar solos that burst with intensity and then faded.

"Chris, what would you call that strange sound coming from my guitar?" Kirk asked his friend.

"Why, psychedelic, of course," Chris replied.

"Thank you, Chris," said Kirk. "Let's celebrate the beautiful music we've made together and eat a bunny."

The pair enjoyed a glorious feast of fur and roasted meat that night ... and many nights after. In fact, they ate so many bunnies that they found themselves on hiatus from recording music until five years after their arrival to the castle.

"Kirk, I don't know what else we can do. After all these years, we seem to have lost our creative touch."

But then -- as if on cue -- two heroic knights called out to the boys from under their window.

"Hark! We are two young men looking for a band, as we seem to have lost our horses and can no longer perform our heroic duties," the knights said. "Our names are Norm Block and Michael Orendy. We heard your music several years ago and decided that we would like to collaborate."

Chris and Kirk decided that the knights were safe, so they allowed them into the castle. As they soon discovered, the new pair had brought a mixtape of their own in order to offer some new suggestions (in their manly, heroic way, of course). Norm played the music samples for the rabbit-filled duo.

"Why, what is this fine piece of work?" Kirk asked.

"It's a ballad by the Vines called 'Autumn Shade,' " Michael answered. "You two missed out on some new music while stuck in this room. I think you should make your songs sound more like what's been out in the last year. Have a listen to this track by the Tyde as well. You might like them; they seem to like the Beach Boys, too."

After giving a listen to the fresh music that had been created during their isolation period, Kirk and Chris agreed the foursome could create an album together. They ventured out into the real world and bought the new knights a drum kit and bass, and the new group created a ballad mimicking the Vines song they had recently heard. After some success, the group smoked a few mysterious leaves that they had found outside in celebration. Kirk started to get impatient after a few hits, however.

"You guys, I don't like the end of that song 'Amaurosis' because we've completely lost our vibe and have rocked out too much," Kirk said. "It's too ... how do you call it? Too psychedelic. We should start over."

So, at his command, the band created the seven-minute song over again, but this time ending it beautifully with some mysterious sound effects. The band thought that they had found their new album's conclusion.

But it didn't end. They slaved away some more, and after rocking out a little too hard, their poor medieval hearts gave in. However, another elf who came to the Los Angeles castle on a tour with his wife eventually found the results of the five-year recording session, and he sent it off to be released by a record label. All lived happily ever after. Except the elf, who received no money.

  • Cracked
  • Sick Fixation
  • The Killing Kind
  • Amaurosis
  • Finis
  • All I Ever Got
  • Disaffected
  • Amplified Breathing Appartus
  • Known To Man
  • Wear You Down
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