Film School – Fission

January 01, 1970



(Hi-Speed Soul)


Film School takes a blurry approach
to their music, one which challenges the listener to somehow get a grasp on
their sound. Their high-pitched harmonies betray a hint of wistful yearning,
but their aggressive rhythms and claustrophobic arrangements contradict any
hint of quiet deliberation. Truth is, the best offerings on their new album –
their fourth to date — are those that find them letting loose and displaying
their more effusive tendencies, as reflected in the rousing tenacity of songs
such as “Distant Life,” “Sunny Day,” and Bones.” They sweep the listener along on
a tide of enthusiasm and provide a connection lacking in noisier romps like
“Nothing’s Mine” and “Waited,” in which the sonic extremes overpower any more
melodic attributes.


Ultimately, Film
School isn’t quite as
cinematic as their handle would suggest. Opening track “Heart Full of
Pentagons” seems to aspire to an over-reach comparable to U2, but for the most
part this San Francisco
collective appear content to let their busy arrangements and cluttered effects take
the helm. Fission might have been
better titled Fusion for the fact
that they toss so much weirdness into the mix, but ultimately Film School
reveals more ambition than invention.


DOWNLOADS: “Distant Life,” “Sunny Day” LEE ZIMMERMAN

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