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Can - Monster Movie CD (album) cover

MONSTER MOVIE

Can

 

Krautrock

3.81 | 341 ratings

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Kempokid
4 stars For those who listened to Can's later work and admired their amazingly groovy repetition in places, I feel like you'll enjoy this album greatly. While Tago Mago and the like may have had hypnotic, repetitive beats throughout the songs, this album takes it to another level in that regard, with each song almost solely being dedicated to a single rhythmic pattern and hook, and then repeated ad nauseum throughout the length of the song. As well as its extreme simplicity which ends up working wonders due to the highly groovy, hypnotic nature of the tracks, there is also a certain energy and manic quality to the songs, the latter definitely provided by the bizarre, unhinged nature of Malcolm Mooney's vocal performance.

Father Cannot Yell immediately sets the precedent for the kind of music thi album will consist of, starting off with a high pitched beeping noise while the instruments are all quickly introduced, with a creeping bassline, drumming like clockwork, and simplistic guitars. The aspect of the song that most catches my attention is the extremely irregular vocal rhythm that's present, seemingly going all over the place with little regard for tempo and time signatures, which is honestly really interesting sounding here. The only majorly shifting instrumental element of the song is that of the guitar, which sometimes becomes near cacophonous at points, with a constant ebb and flow providing for an interesting listening experience further heightened by the wonderfully quirky vocal breakdown halfway through. Mary, Mary So Contrary displays an entire other side of the band's sound, still applying the simplistic, repetitive and rhythm focused songwriting approach, but being much softer and with some more melody put in. The main thing I love about this song is that high pitched wail of the guitar, as it provides a nice bit of sonic depth to the song while the metronimic drumming continues on and on, making the back half of this song absolutely wonderful. Outside My Door, while less memorable and impressive than the previous two tracks, definitely has its own unique identity, with a surf rock style as well as a harmonica, so it's far from a complete write off. You Doo Right makes up the bulk of this album, and is definitely a strange song, taking the mentality applied to the rest of this album, but then stretching it out to 20 minutes in length, essentially providing a 20 minute long jam centred around key vocal hooks. I feel like it's pulled off quite well overall, being able to remain entertaining throughout, more or less exploring the furthest reaches of this particular groove and melody.

While some of Can's later works are definitely where I would gravitate towards, especially their excellent Tago Mago, I really love the stripped back simplicity here, and find that it's executed extremely well. Malcolm Mooney's vocal performance provides a certain charm to the albums that Damo Suzuki couldn't replicate, despite him being a far better vocalist and definitely having moments of further insanity than anything that they could dream of here. All in all, I do thoroughly enjoy this album and would strongly recommend giving it a listen after hearing the Damo Suzuki material from the band.

Best songs: Father Cannot Yell, You Doo Right

Weakest songs: Outside My Door

Verdict: Extremely repetitive, rhythm focused music with great energy in parts, while also being able to make it all sound extremely enjoyable. I'd definitely recommend starting off with the peak material of Can before moving on to this, but I do find it to be an album you should definitely listen to if you enjoyed the minimalistic nature of those albums.

Kempokid | 4/5 |

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