Pop metal? Does that even make sense? Well, it'll have to because that's what The Mausoleums sound like on their new album Blackened Fawns. The opening track, Livelihood, sounds like it could be The Mamas & The Papas recorded on a Talk Boy then played on speakers the size of refrigerators cranked up to 11. The following track, though, ups the ante and goes right to kicking your face in. Here we have so much static, you have no idea how many actual instruments are being played. It's just as likely for there to be 2 guitars as there is 8. And the crashing cymbals only add to the noise. The growling vocals start out strong but eventually fade down in the mix. If you didn't hear them in the beginning, it would be easy to miss them entirely later on in the song.
Blackened Fawns is an intense piece of work. Lots and lots of noise. And amidst all of the buzz emerges this crazy catchy riff that stands out from everything else. It doesn't sound out of place but at the same time, you have no idea where it came from. It's a seriously confusing album, with some songs being really up-beat that you'd rather tap your foot to than bang your head, but then there's some others that are crazy and loud as fuck with this echoing growling demon. It's truly bizarre and awesome and I love it whole heartedly.
The packaging on this is truly unique. Released as a CD-R on the Chinese Workers Labor Union label, each one is handmade and it looks like they either rushed right through making them or they just didn't give a shit. I don't think there's a single right angle to be found on this. Everything's cut crooked and nothing really fits. There's a hand stapled booklet that just barely fits inside that has various strange images, particularly the two pages of drawn partridges (like the Family). And the back of the album has some bitchin artwork. It looks like something out of a Bible stories book, with two bears attacking a unicorn. Nature is sad.