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World's End Girlfriend - The Lie Lay Land CD (album) cover

THE LIE LAY LAND

World's End Girlfriend

 

Post Rock/Math rock

3.78 | 12 ratings

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colorofmoney91
Prog Reviewer
4 stars Post-rock composition done oh so right.

World's End Girlfriend is a project that has been on my radar for quite a few years, from when I started to get into the post-rock genre and quickly realized that 90% of the genre was excruciatingly boring. That is where this solo musical project of Katsuhiko Maeda really sticks out -- this music is interesting, diverse, eclectic, and has a true sense of sincere beauty that most post-rock artists simply cannot capture despite their efforts. The Lie Lay Land sees Maeda in his most eclectic and intense form.

As soon as the first track "Phantasmagoria Moth Gate" starts off with a single distant mourning horn and quickly builds to a dense cacophony that ceases under a painful shriek, this album is immediately distinguishable from the tried-and-true post-rock formula that has been recycled for over a decade. This track really is a great introduction for the entire album because it contains most of the elements on this album and gives a 6-minute glimpse of what to expect -- soft beauty, noise experimentation, eclectic instrumentation, freely-flowing composition style, electronic music influence, and dense walls of impenetrable cacophony.

Where The Lie Lay Land really excels is with its longer/epic tracks, which all have very clever composition and make for great mental storytelling left to listener's own creative mind. For example, "Satan Veludo Children" is a nearly 9-minute journey that starts off with a H. Gorecki influenced contemporary classical string and piano melody that reeks of melancholy as a single boy's shout crescendos into a short burst of breakbeat electronica, then a beautiful guitar melody enters. The guitar and strings continue to build in an E. Elgar-type fashion until eventually distorted guitar riffs reminiscent of Radiohead take over, as does a saxophone further down the line.

In my personal opinion, "Scorpius Circus" is the most eclectic and entertaining composition on this album. It begins with a strongly Spanish-influenced tinny guitar melody and backing circus music, eventually succumbing to electronic noise that quickly explodes into an adventurous cello melody with a lead violin that sounds like a dance written for Dracula. After a bit of crunchy electronic explosion, a somewhat sad violin melody comes through, like the kind you'd hear in a movie as two friends become heartbroken as one watches the other through a train window as he departs for a new home. The music becomes subdued, but again morphs into a beautiful melody, this time played on guitar but is just as emotionally powerful. If there were ever a song that deserved the label epic, this is it.

While some of the longer tracks are huge and expressive, some of the shorter tracks follow the boring quiet-to-loud post-rock dynamic that I generally try to avoid, like "We Are the Massacre", which while it is beautiful, it still is quite uneventful and boring. The same goes for "Song Cemetery" and "Unspoiled Monster", though the instrumentation for both are admittedly interesting still (including bells, trumpet, clarinet, and wonderful ambient soundscapes). The only two short songs that have great appeal are "Garden in the Ceiling" (very bombastic with a steady heavy beat and mournful string section) and "The Owl of Windward" (avant-ambient droning with distant saxophone playing and thick usage of various field recordings). Despite some of these shorter tracks being uneventful and boring, they're definitely a bit less generic than compared to other bands in this genre, and they do work for decent transitions between epic songs in this epic album

It's safe to say that fans of post-rock, whether interesting or generic versions of it, will mostly like enjoy this album quite a bit, but even for people who are interested in becoming acquainted with this genre, World's End Girlfriend's special brand of emotional and apocalyptic post-rock on The Lie Lay Land would be a great starting point. It takes a long time to fully absorb what's going on, but I guarantee that it will be worth it.

colorofmoney91 | 4/5 |

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