Paralyzed Mind of the Archangel Void (Big Cat)
by Clarendon Lavorich
I’m not supposed to tell you that Harmony Rockets is actually Mercury Rev in disguise on another label. Recorded live at a hotel, this has only one track which is over 40 minutes long. Paralyzed Mind… recalls the ambient sound experiments of Can in the cyclical rhythmic patterns with pieces of confusion played over the top, the most dominant of which is a trumpet. The sound is like broken glass being catapulted over a quiet Norwegian lake at sunrise. A gentle realization, an expectation of greatness, and then BAM! Flying shards of windowpane come descending upon you. The total effect is disquieting and unsettling, because you have no firm sense of stability. The drone notes are always there, the rhythms don’t shift around much, but the elements placed on top of this aural bullion are fast and furious and not a little out of place at times. This effect is intended, of course, but if you’re not prepared, you’ll find it hard to get your ears around this album. I’d recommend Harmony Rockets to anyone who has grown tired of trance music or wishes ambient composers would get some guts.