The Residents – Not Available (1978)

Posted by on October 22, 2012as

There’s a whole mythos built up around The Residents, and their theory of obscurity is a central component of it. Their wryly-titled album Not Available dates from the early-ish part of their  work, and saw official release on Ralph Records in 1978 (it was recorded some years earlier). A disc that defines difficult, it remains enjoyable on a number of levels. Lyrically as dark as they’d ever get – though later-period discs such as Tweedles and Freak Show would push things even further toward the lyrically transgressive – Not Available includes long segments of instrumental music. Sort of a malevolent rethinking of Brian Eno’s Another Green World, Not Available depicts a world that’s unremittingly grotesque. But like an aural equivalent of a traffic accident, you can’t turn away.Acoustic piano, synthesizer strings and some dissonant flute-like instruments kick off “Ship’s A’going Down,” the strangest and least-accessible track on Not Available. The Enigmatic Foe character appears, and the Residents equivalent of a Greek chorus adds commentary. By the middle of the track, several tunes — all dissonant — seem to be playing at once. And while The Residents rarely sound even a little bit like anyone else, in places this tracks is reminiscent of Mike Oldfield’s Tubular Bells. The synthesizer work toward the track’s end is interesting, almost subtle.

mp3 VBR~187 kbps | 70 MB | UL

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