I give this album a 6/10. It has some good ideas, but becomes redundant. It is like when you’re in college and you’re a novice drinker and you think “hey I really don’t mind keystone and its so cheap too! I’ll never get sick of it.” Then one night you have a case-race with your friend and become violently ill and you never want to see a keystone again. This album is not cheap like keystone, it just gets redundant, and you get sick of it, like that first awful sickness for a novice drinker that makes you question your ways.
I am not sure how to classify this type of music. I would describe it as concentrated noise. No Carrier makes music that is a collection of sounds, which at its core is what all music is. However, the computerized noises that come together are not conventional when we think about what constitutes music. There are loud unsettling sounds that sound like a machine garage. There are smaller echoing sounds that sound like sci-fi movie special effects. It is an unusual sort of sensation listening to this music. Where some artists tap into emotion using lyrics, No Carrier taps into something more visceral. There is an impending sense of doom embedded in these songs. The loud unnatural noises cause a sort of a panic in the listener. The lyrics are more secondary in this music because the point comes across more through the unnatural noises. The vocals in many of the songs tend to be there for the purpose of adding an uncanny human element to the mostly robotized sounds.
The vocals are hard to focus on because there are all these random noises.
It is obvious from the album artwork that No Carrier is going for an impending doom feeling. The artwork shows a city in ruin and an eyeless woman holding a blackbird with a rainbow fading in the background. The album artwork hits the song subject matter right on the bullseye.
I understand why a group would want to maintain a certain continuity with an album. They are trying to iterate a point. However there is a right way to do this and a not so right way. Broken Rainbow’s songs are fundamentally pretty much the same in terms of how they sound and make the listener react. There is this looming sort of distorted ‘wooshing’ sound that is present through most of the songs. There is a somber feel to all of the songs, and there is an unemotional, detached female vocal bit in all of the songs besides Your Heroin.
In terms of what it sounds like I draw a few comparisons to Nico, and Lana Del Ray. With Nico there is an element of detached Avant-garde styling, which is how all of the songs on this album are. Lana on the other hand is successful for her use of electronic backing music, and pop vocals, as well as her songwriting. No Carrier has the pop vocal songs styled much like Lana’s songs except they do not have the same level of songwriting nor vocal clarity that is present in Lana’s works.
The issue I run into with this album is that it seems like a singular song separated into 10 parts. The album is too homogenous. When we consider the great albums like Abbey Road, Exile on Main Street, or Ok Computer the reason why they are great is because the songs go well together without sounding fundamentally the same. I do not take issue with the Star Wars noises in this album, and I think that No Carrier is a talented bunch with a vision, but the album gets redundant and by the time you get to the third track Your Heroin, you’re board. You can listen to any song on the album and get the same effect as any other song.
I think No Carrier does a very good job with creating a sense of dread in the listener, but it starts to lose its affect after hearing each song it becomes boring. I appreciate No Carrier’s take on CCR’s Bad Moon Rising, but again, it is too uniform when considered with the rest of the album. I think there is potential for there to be some really solid album creation from this group in the future. They have the vision, and they have the wherewithal to convey their message, they just need to work on diversifying their song’s sounds to give their listener some excitement.
Article by: Sam Hill