Album Review: Zack Kouns – I Lift My Hands Against the Gods

September 13, 2009

Artist: Zack Kouns
Album: I Lift My Hands Against the Gods
Released: Self-released, 2009

That looks painful

Huh. Where to begin. Should I begin with what Mr. Kouns lists on his Myspace as some of his band members – “sensing man’s terrible seperation from himself,” “thin purplish scar,” “piers as empty as arms”? Or maybe his influences? “The dissolution of the self that music encourages,” “The meaning of Cabenza De Vaca’s voyage of conquest,” “astrolabes (even if they’re eyes seeing something terrible and celestial in the heart),” and “Myths and man’s attempt to embody something eternal, constant and beyond himself”?

How about the album – supposedly what I’m reviewing here, and an “examination of the first five hundred years of modern history beginning with Christ in the garden of Gethsemane and concluding with the Roman empire succumbing to the barbarian hordes.” Yeah, not so much. It’s more of an examination of how pretentious a man can drive his work to be.

The music is barely there, it’s more of a background to the spoken word lyrics. Saxophones and accordions moan weakly in songs such as “Negresses” and “Thalia”, and in “Gaping Jaws of Wild Beasts” guitar and bass lazily play along. Frankly, all the music feels superfluous. Imagine the jazz band version of noodling, and that’s what most of this album sounds like. Just a couple of guys who got some instruments, and can play a note or two, and then they play those notes. Again. And Again. And Again.

As for lyrics, there is nothing exciting here. “Triange Circle Square” sounds like he’s reading off some Pythagorean text, which is kind of unique, but he sounds terribly bored while doing it.

Just… don’t go near this. Please. It’s bad. Yes, it’s free, but it takes time to listen to it, time you could spend listening to some of the good music that’s been reviewed on this site lately. Zack Kouns’ work is a pretentious pile of crap. Usually I would link the album, but I’m not even going to do that. Go listen to Rodrigo Y Gabriela or something. I need to go clean my ears.

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