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Volcano - Paperwork

  by Maarten Schiethart

published: 10 / 10 / 2008

Volcano - Paperwork
Label: Leaf Label
Format: CD


Energetic and satirical art rock on second album from inventive American experimentalists, Volcano !

Dashing straight into funky and raw art-rock 'Paperwork' shows Volcano! at its best yet. First up is the frisk in the two tracks from the preceding single. Satire with some wacky form of math-rock makes an excellent combination but do know there are plenty of unprecedented moves (that are) still ahead when you find yourself baffled by 'Performance Evaluation Shuffle' and 'Africa Just Wants To Have Fun'. I try to avoid making comparisons but Volcano! stands too close to Manhattan's Mofungo (1978-198?) to not mention the same shared political stance and desire for energetic adventure. The admirable twist to 'Volcano!' can be found in their friendly approach even when they could be filed under agitprop. After a few listens you'll notice that 'Paperwork' sends signals to the hips too and not just to the left part of the brain. 'Sweet Tooth' comes across as a nursery rhyme set to brawny urban blues music and it's one of the most compelling pleasures on record I heard all year. Next is yet another gentle gesture in the form of 'Astronomer's Ballad' which could have been a daring cover of a Julio Iglesias tearjerker. '--------' is most intriguing as a song title and this track leads to the first and only moment where the vocals tend towards annoyance but the interacting flashes and bits on snares in the next track deliver such majestic sniper attacks that '--------'/'Palimpsests' turns into one more mind-boggling experience. 'Paperwork' closes off with 'Kitchen Dance' where at one point you could not tell Spanish from English. At this closing stage, the album has got such a grip on you that a repeat play is the only sane move next.

Track Listing:-
1 Performance Evaluation Shuffle
2 Africa Just Wants to Have Fun
3 Tension Loop
4 Fairy Tale
5 Slow Jam
6 78 Oil Crisis
7 Sweet Tooth
8 Astronomer's Ballad
9 --------
10 Palimpsests
11 Kitchen Dance

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