Thursday, February 14, 2013

Frontier Ruckus is maybe too much of a good thing?

I suspect that records are getting longer...this one was at least 30 minutes too long, though impressive in all other ways.

Eternity of Dimming
(Quite Scientific)

Frontier Ruckus' Matthew Milia sets dazzlingly impacted lines of poetry atop the homespun sway of Americana, his verbiage razor precise descriptions of home, family and memory in suburban Michigan, his music a loose, communal evocation of a rustic past. There are said to be more than 5,500 words on this 20-song double album, yet not a one is out of place.

Milia, who studied poetry at University of Michigan, has mastered the casual drop of initial caps cultural references - JC Penney, Dairy Queen, Little Caesar - within a rapid-fire flow of imagery, and he's especially good at internal rhymes, where sounds match up not just at the end of lines but within them as well. He sings offhandedly, in a cracked rural voice, in intricate patterns and rhythms (say the phrase "shrink-wrapped cosmetics and cardboard aesthetics" aloud to get an idea), and then pulls up short to loft an existential conundrum right in the middle of the flow. Follow him into Dairy Queens and through People magazines in the title track, and you'll end up smack dab against the meaning of life and the fear of death, as he warbles about "an eternity of dimming, you turn to me I'm slipping, the grain-i-ness is winning every night."


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