Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Florene Reviewed on Pitchfork

Dentonie Waaga Records signees Florene received a fairly critical review of their full length debut, Homemade Extacy, from Pitchfork today. The site rated the record a 5.4, which actually seems a bit high once you make it through the review itself. The author provides a few rather thin compliments, sure, but does so just before explaining that these bright spots:

"are just that-- small bits of something interesting that never manage to coalesce or build momentum."

Ouch. Furthermore, reviewer Larry Fitzmaurice is critical of the length of many of the tracks as well as the way the record itself sounds:

"All of these complaints are just minor quibbles, though, next to the album's greatest weakness: it sounds terrible. Every element of every song is mixed way, way into the red. Throughout, nuance and layering are discarded in favor of an annoying sonic antagonism."

Double ouch. But as a person who has spent time listening to this record quite a bit lately as I've attempted to prepare a full length review, I have to agree-- Homemade Extacy just isn't much fun to listen to. Yes, many of the songs are entirely too long, often clocking in at six minutes plus and giving the listener the feeling of running in place; and yes, the record is mixed terribly and is often physically difficult to listen to, but not in a good way. Unfortunately, however, I found the songs lacking even moreso than Pitchfork seemed to-- the truth is that Florene's debut sounds too harsh to be psychedelic and mesmirizing, not rough or interesting enough to be confrontational or challenging, and the whole thing puzzlingly lacks the beats needed to make it the least bit danceable. There are a lot of good influences to be found throughout, and the group seems to know its way around an XLR8R magazine, but it was tough to find much to like about their execution on record. You can buy it here if you want to hear it for yourself.


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