The Residents - "Dolor Generar" CD Review (Ralph) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Tuesday, August 02, 2011

The Residents - "Dolor Generar" CD Review (Ralph)

Before shuttering Ralph Records last year, The Residents’ final limited-edition release was Dollar General, which contained the music the played over the PA before and after shows on the Talking Light tour. This sixteen track / 48 minute disc follows in the same vein as Ten Little Piggies and The Ughs! and is a collection of experimental instrumental tracks. The first half of the disc predominately focuses around some creative percussion work and the various Eskimo-style clangings and bangings are coupled with jazz-flavored, polyrhythmic instrumentation which makes some of these tracks sound like King Crimson gone industrial. Intermixed across the disc, The Residents pull out some dark-hued atmospheric/cinematic numbers but never completely step away from the disc’s percussive core.

This latest release from the band, Dolor Generar - Una Noche Lost en Van Horn Texas, is a reissue of Dollar General, but this release includes two additional songs which brings the total running time up to 57 minutes. This new disc is available as a CD-R through Amazon/Ralph Records and is described as “[a]n abstract instrumental album of strange beauty, Dolor Generar is the soundtrack for an unusual night in Texas. Used as pre-show music for the Residents' TALKING LIGHT touring show, this album set the mood for the bizarre stories of ghosts and the missing Carlos.

It is hard to write an in-depth review of an ambient album (Eno's Ambient series kept coming to mind when listening to this disc) as the overall album is about tones, textures and moods rather than individual songs. Like the aforementioned Eno series, this disc is pleasant listening experience, and there are a couple tracks that are somewhat distinctive but there isn't enough substance to keep most of the individual tracks memorable once the disc is done. Fans of the band probably have both versions of this disc already but other discs (like Meet the Residents or Eskimo) are probably more interesting places to start for novices.

Dolor Generar Track List:
1. Black Scars
2. Burning Madrone
3. Mary Achi
4. Memory of Transgression
5. Rats Fight for Water
6. Restrained in the Ward
7. Carlos Buys a Round
8. Dollhouse
9. Last Rites for Bilibago
10. Blow Row
11. The Red Powder
12. Shoeless Thorn Game
13. Temple of the Dragan
14. War Zone
15. Hassled by Mamasan
16. Drunk Again in Van Horn Texas
17. Oil Jobber
18. Una Noche Lost

The Residents