Far be it from me, as a listener and reviewer, to nay say the above. I am not even going to say But. Yet. Though I am going right now to look up the word confrontational. Ah here it is. I am confrontational too, I see. I think I am slightly less confrontational than I used to be though. Thats probably because I am a lot older than I used to be. OK. I will just deal with it, and be glad thats out of the way.
I have listened to a lot of crap in my life, though most times I am not so forthcoming about it. I do not want to ever foil, discourage, or Gott verbieten, even kill art. No, I would never do that. But the effort is sometimes a lot. A Lot. Its just my little cross to bear, here in this funny place where I exist, whose entrance was a vagina, of all things. I doubt if I will leave here in as good a position as when I came in, either. Too. Whatever.
Reiterating: I will never ever knowingly knock anything that even resembles art, and besides, there are many really fine artists @ Earth, its just that I listen to the really good ones so much I burn out on them. I am in the process of doing that now, with the music of Aesthetic Perfection, who is Daniel Graves, and who reminds me, as a talent, of Trent Reznor. Mostly because he is one guy, and only uses other talents live. Understand this too: when I first listened to Nine Inch Nails, it was very very different music. When I bought Reznors Pretty Hate Machine all those years ago it was a total gamble. I liked the name of the cassette (!) and I liked the name of the group, but there was no listening ahead of time, no internet, and certainly no pre-exposure by the insane clowns in mainstream media. I had to be one of the very first customers of NIN, and I was going out on a limb because there was just nowhere else to go; even back then I was totally fried on the nepotistic mediocre repititious redundant anti-intellectual BS pushed on the listening audiences of the world I lived in.
Yes that sux, it sux bad, but I fight, and I put as much effort into my fighting as I do in encouraging art. It literally takes pieces of me, gobs of flesh, to do this at times, is what I mean to say.
What else is there though? Nothing. No Thing.
Please do not confuse my reference to Nine Inch Nails here...there may be some similarities between Reznors first effort and Violent Emotion, the second CD of Daniel Graves, aka Aesthetic Perfection, yes there are a few, but Aesthetic Perfection is so new and good sounding to these tired old ears that I am sitting here writing about it. And the test of tests: I BOUGHT the cd! I do not do that much anymore. Most times I am happy tracking down the things I like, which, because of the really crappy physical media over the decades, have all gone to heaven a few times at least. Mom dumped all the vinyl years ago, my Hawkwind, my Isao Tomita, my KRAFTWERK for Gotts sake...and then of course I fell into the trap, the literal PIT which anyone my age fell into, the ever present and ever deteriorating years of cassettes and 8 track tapes. What a joke. I don't even want to think about all that. It is the most embarassing experience of my life. I sometimes pray to Gott and ask HOW AND WHY DID I GET STUCK ON THIS BACKWARD BALL OF MUD ??? Just another little cross to bear, here in the land of crucifixion and Fox news.
Back to Aesthetic Perfection, the band, and the CD "A VIOLENT EMOTION". I hear many oddly familiar things here too, things that were almost there 20+ years ago, but still growing: foetus, Boris Mikulic, 3 teens kill 4, Controlled Bleeding, Tones on Tail, Finitribe, SP, you get it...all the once exciting stuff which I now know verbatim; the music that has become some sort of jaded calliope, which is now just the background music in my dreams. Daniel Graves adds another twist to this, a clarity and brightness which has been a long time coming, but no less powerful for all that. He has learned his lessons well, and his ear is professional and creative. He evokes and he elicits and he knows how and he does it well.
I'd been surfing youtube.com, a perfect place to hunt the kind of things I am looking for, and I was just doing the lists, giving songs 15-20 seconds to impress me. Hardly any did. Then I got an Aesthetic Perfection. I let it play. I played another, then watched the video. It was The Great Depression. Then I heard Living the Wasted Life. That was the one. I went right to I-tunes and bought the CD, didn't think twice, been listening ever since. It is bad ass, It is sick, It is the Illest, I cannot get over It. There are only two tunes I don't care for, and they are a nice contrast to the otherwise Buddha Bear Skunk Kind which is what the rest of the work reminds me of. There is just none better right now. And I know. Believe me. I know. The whole damned thing fills me with a glowing Schadenfreude I did not even realize was possible at this stage of the game. It is anti-despair. Thanks D, I don't care what it is or isn't, it is strength and you are generous. Keep Going.
Aesthetic Perfection is more than just rain in the desert, more than just food to a starving man: it is like having a friend jump into the fray as I am getting my butt kicked by 12 or 13 faceless stinking zombies all wearing nothing but puke green t-shirts emblazoned with two letters in dark purple -- FM. The only negative to Aesthetic Perfections "A Violent Emotion" is the fact that the cd glaringly highlights the...ehhhhh.....mediocrity to which my ears are generally subjected, and thats unpretty, but I am used to unpretty here in La La Land. It is the normal state of things in fact. Fortunately there are Deviations occasionally.
A Violent Emotion
1. The Violence
2. Spit it Out
4. The Siren
5. A Quiet Anthem
6. Living the Wasted Life
7. The Great Depression
9. Arsenic on the Rocks
10. The Ones http://www.myspace.com/closetohuman
Industrial to Indie Rock, New Wave to Black Metal, Folk to Gothic, Rock to Gansta Rap.
Everyone else... but different...
Nov 3 2010 8:00P
Combichrist, Aesthetic Perfection, iVardensphere (The Howlin' Wolf) New Orleans, LA
Nov 6 2010 8:00P
Combichrist, Aesthetic Perfection, iVardensphere (The Venue of Scottsdale) Scottsdale, AZ
Nov 7 2010 7:00P
Combichrist, Aesthetic Perfection, God Module, iVardensphere (The Music Box Theater) Hollywood, CA
Nov 8 2010 7:00P
Combichrist, God Module, Aesthetic Perfection, iVardensphere (Slim's) San Francisco, CA
Nov 10 2010 7:30P
Combichrist, God Module, Aesthetic Perfection, iVardensphere (Wonder Ballroom) Portland, OR
Nov 11 2010 7:00P
Combichrist, God Module, Aesthetic Perfection, iVardensphere (El Corazon) Seattle, WA
Nov 13 2010 7:00P
Combichrist, Aesthetic Perfection, iVardensphere (The Gothic Theater) Eglewood, CO
Nov 15 2010 8:00P
Combichrist, Aesthetic Perfection, iVardensphere (Cabooze) Minneapolis, MN
Nov 16 2010 8:00P
Combichrist, Aesthetic Perfection, iVardensphere (The Bottom Lounge) Chicago, IL
Nov 17 2010 7:00P
Combichrist, Aesthetic Perfection, iVardensphere (Phoenix Concert Hall) Toronto, ON
Nov 18 2010 7:00P
Combichrist, Aesthetic Perfection, iVardensphere (Le National) Montreal, QC
Nov 19 2010 7:00P
Combichrist, Aesthetic Perfection, iVardensphere (Webster Theater) Hartford, CT
Nov 20 2010 7:00P
Combichrist, Aesthetic Perfection, iVardensphere (The Grammercy Theater) New York, NY
Nov 21 2010 7:00P
Combichrist, Aesthetic Perfection, iVardensphere (The Starlight Ballroom) Philadelphia, PA
Nov 22 2010 7:00P
Combichrist, Aesthetic Perfection, iVardensphere (Fur Nightclub) Washington, DC
Nov 24 2010 7:00P
Combichrist, Aesthetic Perfection, iVardensphere (The Masquerade) Atlanta, GA
Review by Bill Gallagher