Review ·

Once in a while you come across a person, usually at a party or something who claims they "absolutely adore (insert name of obscure underground band here) and you stand there blinking your eyes and nodding saying, "Oh yea...sure." The Blow is one of those bands.

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The first track of The Bonus Album, "The Democracy of Small Things," starts out all right; it's just noise. Then this noise gets static-y, for up to 20 seconds, until a girl's voice, presumably belonging to Kaelha Maricich, melodic but eerie, kicks in. The noise from the beginning fades away and all you hear is the voice and it sounds like she's hovering over the microphone. At this point, I still had hope. I was waiting for the music to start, it was like sitting on the edge of your seat, but there was nothing.

And then, when it neared the 2-minute mark, it quickly dawned on me that she was going to keep chanting like this for the entire track. By then I had lost faith in the Blow.

I tried really hard to give this a higher rating; I realize it takes a lot to record and to put an album together, but the "band" is comprised of one person, Khaela Maricich, who doesn't play anything and sounds like Brittany Murphy from Don't Say a Word -- maniacal and off-key. Had Khaela not been completely tone-deaf, this album could have been saved from becoming a coaster.

The album had no liner notes, and the reason why soon became very obvious. Here's a sample: "She buried herself in the air/Where?/Up there." Lyrics like those, accompanied by no background music to at least muffle the terrible lyrics, makes this album completely unbearable.

The high points on the record, though, didn't even have words. "The Touch Me" was Maricich saying "ooh" and "ahhh" over and over again for a minute and a half, and "Kyle's Song" was about 50 seconds of her saying the same clever poetry. The only track that you can even call a "song" on this album is "Watch the Water Roll Up," which was interesting and had some band backup. The last and longest track on this album is "Little Sally Tutorial" and it's a narrative for a children's game. None of which do anything to help this debacle of an album. The only feeling you get once it's done is relief.

Elvis Costello - Cruel Smile Oneida Each One Teach One

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