Aaron Dilloway - The Gag File (LP)
Introducing itself with the cover image of a posed dummy ready for his yearbook portraiture, The Gag File pick up right where Modern Jester left off; its identity is directly tied to an absurdly uncomfortable head shot that stays permanently fixed in the listener’s mind whenever the album is summoned. The opening track, “Ghost”, sets the heartbeat for the record. A rogue pulse that becomes lost in a disjointed, trapdoor loop but becomes even more unorthodox as Dilloway introduces himself through parable of jumbled, confused vocals and phrasing. Past this point, nothing in this record is typical or expected.
Sudden, crude cuts from one piece to another and psychotic jumps in fidelity make one rethink the ideas of confusion and desperation as something more abstract rather than visceral. “Karaoke with Cal” and “It’s Not Alright” have an intoxicated sense of depression, taking in the world’s problems and regurgitating them back in hopes of finding some enjoyment. That enjoyment seems to be found in the non-music aspect of side B’s long form party field recording, that loops in on itself making sure you never really know when the party begins or ends, regardless of one partygoers claim.
Nods to Dilloway’s recent live performances have been unusually captured as the song “Inhuman Form Reflected” doubles as a sound portrait of the artist’s internal struggle with hysteria, but suddenly breaks away from a recorded song into an accidental segue way of someone on the edge. Most hallmarks of Dilloway’s signature are seemingly here but not firmly imprinted into the recording. Instead, Dilloway used his methods of vocal manipulation and frenzied reference to tell a completely foreign narrative, one that subjects himself to naked uncertainty, audible anxiety and discourse.
Karaoke With Cal
Inhuman Form Reflected
Born In A Maze
It's Not Alright
No Eye Sockets (For Otto & Sindy)
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