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Monday, July 08, 2013

His Name Is Alive -- Home Is in Your Head (Rykodisc Edition)

 photo 250px-HNIA-Ryko_zps0899231f.jpg

Time to get weird.
If you know me, or if you've read plenty of these reviews, you know that from the end of 2003 to late summer of 2004, I had a migraine for nine months. It was...interesting. Anyway, near the end of that period, as the fog was starting to lift from my head, I figured I should try to have fun and be happy. I decided that checking out and watching ten movies a week from the library would contribute to that, and it did. I made a lot of great discoveries during that period, but few as memorable as the film work of the Brothers Quay. These identical twins have made many hauntingly beautiful stop-motion films over the years, but I've found their video work for a band called His Name Is Alive to be my favorite. As soon as I discovered these short films, I forced my brother and anyone within arms length to watch them again and again. I think they are brilliant. The first, "Are We Still Married?" is taken from the Rykodisc edition of the album Home Is In Your Head.

The Rykodisc edition is actually Home Is In Your Head with the band's The Dirt Eaters EP added to the end. There isn't a great difference in sound between the two, so I don't mind reviewing them together as one work. And as for that review...
You thought that video was weird? It doesn't scratch the surface of some of what you will find inside this album. Home Is In Your Head is almost entirely only reverb-drenched guitar and female vocals, with some weird sampling tossed in at times. The reverb and singing style give the whole album a strange, medieval feel, but overall, Home Is In Your Head sounds like one big art project. It's a very listenable art project, though. The songs are short, and if an idea doesn't work, the next usually does. Also, the sparseness can be strangely spiritual at times. There are many lovely, contemplative pieces here with some great meditative qualities. A favorite is "Sitting Still Moving Still Staring Outlooking" which has calmed violent storms in my mind more than a few times.

Also, the Dave McKean-influenced artwork rules.

1992 4AD/Rykodisc Records
1. Are You Coming Down This Weekend? 0:18
2. Her Eyes Were Huge Things 1:37
3. The Charmer 2:14
4. Hope Called in Sick 1:36
5. My Feathers Needed Cleaning 2:27
6. The Well 2:25
7. There's Something Between Us and He's Changing My Words 1:20
8. The Phoenix, a Pool of Ice 0:50
9. Are We Still Married? 2:51
10. Put Your Finger in Your Eye 0:50
11. Home Is in Your Head 2:23
12. Why People Disappear 4:17
13. Here Eyes Are Huge 1:11
14. Save the Birds 0:23
15. Chances Are We Are Mad 2:37
16. Mescalina 0:48
17. Sitting Still Moving Still Staring Outlooking 3:26
18. Very Bad a Bitter Hand 3:02
19. Beautiful and Pointless 2:25
20. Tempe 3:25
21. Spirit and Body 1:49
22. Love's a Fish Eye 3:32
23. Dreams Are of the Body / The Other Body 2:39
24. Man on the Silver Mountain 3:45
25. Are We Still Married? 2:59
26. Is This the Way the Tigers Do? 3:37
27. We Hold the Land in Great Esteem 4:03
28. The Dirt Eaters 3:44

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