Album Review – Folk Terrors by No Museums (2022) (Self released)
The Bandcamp biography of No Museums (the recording project of Edmonton’s, Michael Betmanis) describes his aesthetic as:
Echo boxes, delay pedals, soft distortion dynamics and guitars with buzzing strings. There is drift and there is direction.
Perfectly adroit in its description, “drift and direction” succinctly describes the way in which he crafts beautifully subtle nuances out of what could colloquially be called a “bag load of whirring noise.”
At Folk Terror’s most vociferous, Folk Art, The Golden Pilot, and Silence Will Outlast Us take the grinding fuzz foundation of Guided By Voices and give it free reign to usurp itself and make itself “more”, as increasing layers of aural textures are added to a beautiful mayhem that never dominates, this act’s constant need for curious melody.
When the glorious cacophony is toned down a notch, A Tiresome Language, Local Society, Soft on the Shallow, and Have You Seen Transportation dwell in the indefinable, slightly emotionless, indecipherable textures of The Velvet Underground’s under-produced aesthetic. Too busy to be haunting, too whirring to be melodic, these tracks prosper in the ultimately cool musical hinterland between.
However, the true standouts of this release are Terror Linesand Filing the Months Away. Still full of noise, these tracks are augmented by genuine jangled riffs that perhaps eradiate further due to the claustrophobic noise that frequents the remainder of the album. As lucid as Betmanis is ever likely to get, such tracks, despite their brevity, are truly stunning.
After twelve albums since 2014 and a mere nine months since his superlative Pale Blue Eyes album, the quality of this Canadian’s releases never hints at waning