Laboring at the fringes of the musical landscape can produce some truly amazing art and challenge our notion of what is considered music. However, for every stroke of experimental brilliance, there are thousands upon thousands of avant garde projects, such as SIRR, that leave you scratching your head wondering what the fuck you just listened to. Arguably, niche stuff is more prone to subjective analysis; artists like Sunn O))) and Merzbow are only going to appeal to relatively small groups, however it is still possible to appreciate music that we don’t like for its intrinsic artistic merits. Unfortunately, I’m having a really tough time finding the good in SIRR’s new full length recording, Charge!
SIRR’s music is best described as monotone spoken word poetry backed by sparse midi synth beats, comically bad sound effects, and the occasional guitar riff. Now, this isn’t a busted formula; Leonard Cohen, Buck 65, and The Residents all rock a version of this set up, but like Tom Hanks said to that big motherfucker in the movie The Green Mile, it all comes down to execution. SIRR’s vocals are delivered in a flat, breathy tone devoid of any inflection or flow and sound as if they were recorded using a computer headset. The lyrics are guileless to the point of Dada-esque “Tim & Eric” absurd-ism, which would be cool if we were given any impression that SIRR was joking. My fear is that this fellow is very, very serious. Tracks like “No Home” and “I Don’t give a Shit” seem to be attempts at deeper subject matter, but the grade-school lyrics and rhyming patterns make it incredibly hard to care.
Maybe there is an audience out there that loves SIRR. Maybe only SIRR loves SIRR. Maybe, given enough time, SIRR will evolve from its current state as a poorly formed, somewhat defective caterpillar into a beautiful post-pop butterfly. Outside of rampant speculation, I can only tell you what I know to be true; Charge! is an amateurish, poorly executed record whose appeal completely eludes me.
Written by Jesse Gainer