Thing of the Day

Fat Worm Of Error coverFAT WORM OF ERROR

December 21st 2010

We can’t let the year end with the making of an error such as the big fat error that not covering the FAT WORM OF ERROR would be. 

For at some point, we’re not sure when, amongst the mashed potentate and possibly as a result of something to do with the return of the thin white dook and a ruined herbivore, AMBIVALENCE AND THE BEAKER arrived. Yes indeed, a new CD from The Fat Worm Of Error has landed. Who are they I hear you ask as you twist your ribbon – keep that ribbon in place now and we shall tell you that The Worm are from Northampton, Massachusetts, and they’ve had things out on such impressively fine labels as yeay!, Load, Resipiscent, UE and Ecstatic Peace – wonder why they don’t stick in one place for too long? Couldn’t be that anything more than one album is just too much for the sanity of a hard working record label person? This, it seems, is their ninth head-messing album, this time around out on the aforementioned Resipiscent label. We’ve written about the Fat Worm Of Error before, we’ve certainly played then on the radio, we were very pleased to find this waiting for us over at the Resonance FM studio (don’t know how long it had been waiting over there, best to send things direct to the Organ address if you feel like sending things in, -but thanks for sending them wherever you choose to send them).

So let us tell you about Ambivalence, for it appears to have been made on conventional musical instruments – that’s about the only conventional thing I can find about the Fat Worm and their musical output (well besides the disc being round and regulation CD shaped and coming in a cover, not your normal looking plastic CD cove mind you – neat tactile gatefold thing with excellent looking pull out lyric sheer that really doesn’t help in terms of working out what they’re on about, but does sure look rather good).

              Oh look, I’m sure they know what they’re doing at Resipiscent, here’s what they offer on the website as some kind of sales pitch for the album…

“If the toys aren’t broken, you’re not really playing yet. Fat Worm’s ninth release unstitches pop itself and expertly drapes it in drool. From common instruments: guitar, drum, vocal, and bass comes a crowd of unlaboured sounds, surging on burnt Bambi legs, a melting forest of crisscross gone limp, crashing over and again into perfect place. It’d be dumb luck, except it never quits.

   Singing, which ruins so many a band, is for Fat Worm the insane face atop the hulking freak. It belongs there, blurting in sardonic falsetto that careens high then higher into dentist drill register. Drums get up in the way of ten flailing limbs, guitar buzzsaws timbres stirring up a magnetic dust that seems to steer itself. Grab on! A forty-five minute surge of Fat Worm is about to wash in and drown your eyes dead”.

   Actually, that’s a rather accurate description of the latest album from a band who at some point or other has had some kind of San Francisco finger in the Caroliner pie as well as the early moves of Deerhoof - the sounds those two bands make are sensibly sine kind of manifesto from Fat Worm Of Errorformed pop sounds compared to this little beauty from Fat Worm, though: this is seriously challenging hardboiled avant otherness, this is serious boundary blurring. Fourteen beautifully formed pieces that have no clear start or mend (mend? I’m sure I meant to say end, but the truth is in the typo, there is indeed no ‘mend’) and these pieces do indeed sound like some kind of freeform avant broken toy play – all that squelch and boing and fizz and strange spoken word singing (and screeching that never ever becomes overbearing or difficult to listen to) - and those drums, bass, guitars and electronics...

   It would be one hell of a mess if they hadn’t worked out so well that it all needs to breathe and economy of sounds makes for so much more – they don’t throw all their toys down the stairs at once, there is a lot of constructed control in what appears to be random chaos. Dadaism? Precise engineering? Each noise far more than a random accident? Who really knows besides the bands themselves – I kind of like not knowing how in control they are, I’d far more just enjoy it rather then going in to deconstruct and over analyse. Looped stutter? Insane insect bothering, scratching at strings – the doctor’s in, let me explain this, it’s runny, feelings often are, ambivalence in the beaker you see. Right now they’re sounding like the Smash instant potato Aliens peeling things with their metal knives and not quite smashing them all to bits. A late night game with a rat on a drain…. 

  Oh look, you want really out-there freeform avant mind bending that seems to be under some kind of control and doesn’t just go for the noise option? You want something really different? You want fat worms and giant insect heads and oh look… squelch, buzz, zzzzzzzz, meoooooooooooooww, bite bite…
    ”What’s that noise, is it a cat, some kids outside?” asked my collegue over there suddenly awakened from deep doing of something or other…     
      “No, I’m listening to the Fat Worm of Error album - good isn’t it?”
    And indeed it is, ambivalently good, deliciously so….

Get the album here -

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