Ted Leo (?), Rx / Pharmacists
by Jamie Kiffel
Formulating wild concoctions of several drams of digital noise, a handful of samples, and a measure of punky male tenor with a tendency toward Coleco Vision, this crazed pharmacist delivers a dose of experimental electrics sure to send digicart and heavy electro-mixers orbiting with buzzy joy – and to confuse just about everyone else. One needs to hear music in backed-up drains, broken dishwashers, and electronic toys – and be so psyched as to listen to ten minutes of them without getting bored – to understand Ted Leo(?) Rx. Sometimes there’s rhythm; other times galactic songs skip for their duration, or feedback fuzz, chatter, and galactic landing noise grinds against itself like someone’s playing with the radio dial and loving it. There are traditional “songs” here – pieces with actual melodies – but they are not the soul of the album. The soul is somewhere running through hundreds of wires webbing an X-ed out mixing studio, tossed full of sound like a drippy collage. While you may not come out of the theatre humming “Flydocious Invasion” or “The Pharmacist v. the Secret Stars,” you may dislodge a psychic block by letting this very alterna-noise into your brain and tripping on its own electro-alien beauty.
A friend of mine once set up a Les Paul on a table, ran its output through a fan and then through a computer, set it all on reverb and recorded it on an eight-track, backwards. He’d grin to this. Would you?
(PO Box 356 River Edge, NJ 07661)