Exposé Online banner

World's End Girlfriend — Seven Idiots
(Virgin Babylon VBR-001, 2010, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2011-06-01

Seven Idiots Cover artOccupying a distinct netherworld where the realms of electronic music, avant garde, post-rock, and modern classical music intersect, World's End Girlfriend (the nom de musique of Katsuhiko Maeda) has been producing half a dozen or more albums and a slew of EPs since the turn of the last decade, including a movie soundtrack (2009's Air Doll) and a collaboration with Japanese post-rock band Mono (2006's Palmless Prayer/Murder Refrain). Of the ones I've heard, the core (though far from the only element) of the music has always been a kind of beautiful serenity that is unpredictably interrupted by chaotic elements, without completely ruining the overall impression of peaceful detachment. Picture a Buddhist monk sitting at the edge of a busy street; his eyes are open, obviously not blind to the hurrying traffic, but there is an air of deep calm about him. So when the elegiac strings and melodic piano are briefly pre-empted by hyperactive electronic drums or a squonking sax, rather than being energized, the listener can mentally reconcile the two extremes and say, "Yes, life is like that." So what to make of Seven Idiots? Right out of the gate, it rocks, albeit with the same kind of electronic drums as on previous releases. The dramatic strings are still there, but they're backed by pounding guitars. "Teen Age Ziggy?" takes some elements of glam rock and thrusts them into a high-tech setting. This aggressive sound (which might be called techno-prog-metal) continues through the first seven tracks, until the three-part "Bohemian Purgatory" suite, where there is more resemblance to past WEG, though still with more guitar and stronger beats. The CD finishes off with a lovely, meditative throwback to earlier times. An outstanding effort, one of the year's best.

Filed under: New releases, Issue 39, 2010 releases

Related artist(s): World's End Girlfriend

More info
http://www.virgin-babylon-records.com

Latest news

2019-12-11
There's No Time Like the Present – The Belgian band Present has been one of the best avant-rock bands in the world since its formation in 1979. Over the years since then, Present has released nine amazing albums, and now they're ready to start work on number ten. They're looking for some financial help from their fans around the world. » Read more

2019-11-07
Glenn Smith RIP – Glenn Smith, founder, mandolinist, and primary composer of the DeLand, Florida based prog / fusion band Magnatar, passed away on October 18th 2019 at the age of 68, after a brief illness.  » Read more

2019-11-04
Dino Brassea RIP – Word reaches us of the passing of Dino Brassea, who sang and played flute in Cast for many years. By our count, Brassea appeared on 11 Cast albums between 1994 and 2002. He also released music as a solo artist. » Read more

2019-10-06
Ginger Baker RIP – Legendary English drummer Ginger Baker has died at the age of 80. After coming to fame with Cream in the 60s alongside Eric Clapton and Jack Bruce, he became one of the most recognized and influential drummers of the rock era. On September 25, his family announced that he was critically ill, and on October 6 his death was confirmed. » Read more

2019-08-20
Alex's Hand Seeks Spa Treatment – American / European band Alex's Hand has a new album in the works called Hungarian Spa, which looks to be their biggest and best yet, featuring a large roster of guest musicians. They're seeking funding to take the project on the road, and are looking for help from the crowd of wisdom. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

Court - And You'll Follow the Winds Rush 'Till Their Breath Dwells – From the opening notes of "Rising the Tale" – a short instrumental interlude that opens the disc, it's apparent that this new Italian neo-progressive band has traveled a different...  (1994) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues