as of 7/10/03
Parlour aim to define one of my favorite words, crepuscular. They’re dark and womby and off-center, but always on-target. They’ve been compared to Tortoise over and over again, but I like Parlour better; to me, they’re far more visual in their approach, and it’s easier to experience a greater depth of feeling. More importantly, you can slip into a daydream for a solid forty minutes and never even notice what you’ve done until you come back up for air at the end of the disc. The tracks slip one into the other almost seamlessly, but that doesn’t mean the musical ideas never change; they continue on, like overlapping snapshots of a horizontal scene. The guitars are played in a very low key, offhand way, and the shifts in percussion are subtle because the drummer alters the background so deliberately — the tempo never changes drastically, so there’s more room for subtlety. In fact, you really do have to be watching with all eyes to catch all the mood shifts on this amazing disc, but your careful attention will be repaid in the wonder and pleasure you’ll get from the music.
— Jenn Sikes
The genius of PARLOUR has been stewing in Louisville, KY since the mid-ninties. So when their second album pops out just months after the first you must understand the amount of pent up talent and skills ready to burst. Still the morphing brainchild of Tim Furnish (CRAIN and FOR CARNATION), “Googler is perhaps the more guitar based rockin’ counterpart to their debut “Octopus Off Broadway”. PARLOUR carry the blazing torch of gorgeous standards set by AERIAL M and MOGWAI while adding an electronic dimension of well composed pulses and riffs to the mix. Catch a stone groove and stare at the sky, the light shows about to start. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
Årets andre fra Parlour
Bare få måneder etter debuten Octopus Off-Broadway slipper Parlour sin andre fullengder i 2002, titulert Googler. Igjen er det opptak fra de siste fire-fem årene Louisville-blekkspruten Tim Furnish og hans seks kompanjonger nå endelig har gitt ut. Googler består av to spor hver fra årene 1997-1999, fra hjemmeopptakene fra ’97 til de to nyeste, Jololinine og Over the Under, som er tatt opp sammen med Paul Oldham i hans Rove Studios.
For de som i likhet med undertegnede fant behersket glede i Octopus Off-Broadway er det godt å kunne melde at Googler er hakket mer muskuløs, med enda mer vekt på bandets groovy sider. Parlour spiller fortsatt meditativ instrumentalrock med gitar, bass, trommer og keyboards som viktigste våpen, men de seks låtene (fordelt over 40 minutter) er generelt mer poengterte, hvassere og mer kontante i avleveringen enn tilfellet var på Octopus. Parlour vil sikkert fortsatt bli stashet inn i post-rockarkivet, og venner av Aerial M, The Mercury Program og Tortoise vil nok gosse seg like mye over denne som forgjengeren. Men der man på sistnevnte tenderte til å falle inn i et ambient stemningsleie guffes det hardere på denne gangen. Parlour baserer seg på de suggestive trekkene fra krautrocken, men inkluderer snev av electronica og mathrock (Slint, Rodan). Særlig heftige – om ikke så overvettes spennende – er de dansbare hypnosene Distractor og Over the Under, som bør gjøre Parlour til et naturlig referansepunkt for alle som heier på band mellom Slint og Tortoise. På Hop Pife og avslutningspartiet til Regulkfro Reel presenteres vi et mer elektronisk rettet uttrykk nærmere Aphex Twin og Boards of Canada. Med sine dunkle bakgrunnsrytmer, skumle effekter og hypnotiserende klokkespill gis Hop Pife et aldri så lite skrekkfilmpreg. Det er likevel avslutningen Svrendikditement som er platens virkelige koloss. Her kuttes den stimulerende rytmikken opp i forstyrrende støydoser ikke ulikt det Out Hud presenterte på en annen av årets bedre skiver, Street Dad (Kranky).
Nå har Tim Furnish gjennom sine to Parlour-skiver vist noe av hva han er god for, uten at han tilsynelatende har fordypet seg i en bestemt retning. Det medfører et noe variert resultat, og hvis han hadde samlet årets to plater til en – bestående utelukkende av mine favoritter selvsagt – så hadde det blitt en av årets beste. Slik det er nå har Parlour gitt ut to bra+ album i løpet av en høst, og bare det er jo mer enn de fleste kan drømme om. Jeg anbefaler i hvert fall Googler et hestehode foran Octopus Off-Broadway, og håper og tror han vil fortsette sin eksperimentelle reise om ikke altfor lang tid.
– Bjørn Hammershaug, 09.12.2002
Como continuación de su excelente debut “Octopus Off-Broadway”, PARLOUR acaban con esa idea de que todo primer disco es siempre el mejor en la carrera de un grupo, entregando otro nuevo y brillante trabajo aún cuando muchos críticos buscan las palabras para describir el primer larga duración. “Googler” continúa el meditativo flujo de drones creados por sintetizador, guitarras cristalinas y densos ritmos, pero una brisa oscura recorre todo el disco para revelar una nueva energía más agresiva. Habiendo sembrado las semillas de una nueva escena musical en Louisville, “Googler” son los brotes de las sombras en las tonalidades favoritas de PARLOUR. Y lo mejor está aún por llegar.
With last year’s Octopus Off-Broadway, Parlour showed their rare ability to set your cerebral cortex ablaze track after track. The album just never let up. In keeping with this theme, Tim Furnish and Co. release Googler, only nine months after Parlour’s debut, not letting fans of the first album catch their collective breath. From the looks of things, Parlour may be able to keep up this pace. All of these tracks were recorded three to five years ago, suggesting that this group has a lot of music in the can waiting merely for polishing and mixing. It’s anything but canned, though: Googler is certainly a polished release. Again, Parlour is able to keep me glued to the speakers with infectious grooves and trippy elements. From the first track, it’s almost business as usual on “Jololinine,” where interweaved guitar lines and thudding bass lay the groundwork for percussions, both real and sampled. “Distractor” is almost a departure, with a workhorse beat and driving energy, driven by an almost manic bassline and steady powerful drums. Then it’s back to classic Parlour: “Over the Under” is the Spider-Man theme of the 21st century—an underneath-the-skin builder with great effects and hypnotic rhythm. Parlour just make it all sound so easy. Maybe too easy. Some of the same tricks on Octopus are also here, with “Hop Pife,” containing the same eerie effect from the first track on that album but extending it out far further and with greater success. Thus, even though you may hear some of the same elements you’ve heard before, the music never bores you. “Pife” is one of the album’s best tracks, the soundtrack to any number of my future dreams with no explanation, and also its longest. The album closer, “Svrendikditement” brings it all home. Distorted beat samples, keyboard washes, and xylophone make for strange bedfellows, but it’s still utterly compelling. I call it a vast improvement. The song “Over the Under” is available in its entirety over at Temporary Residence.com if the 60-second samples below don’t satisfy. – Rob Devlin
Seemingly for the past 4 years, Tim Furnish locked himself away somewhere in Kentucky and worked on music. While he periodically showed up on random releases over the years (including Quasi-Objects by Matmos), his time was apparently spent incubating lots of musical ideas, the first of which flowed out on the recent Octopus Off Broadway release, and now with this full-length follow-up only months later.
Being an internet geek, I was first inclined to think of the prominent world wide web search engine when I first heard the name of the release, but in actuality it’s a reference to those cute little ‘googly’ eyes that have provided sight for many a stuffed-animal or fuzzy stick-on critter, as well as decoration for high-school book-covers, trapper-keepers, and even hats and accessories of slightly wacky individuals. In my review of the aformentioned Octopus Off Broadway, I used the word ‘hypnotic’ several times to describe the music, and if that was the case with that release, Googler is the release where Furnish brings the rock. Granted, it’s still not at bang-your-head levels by any means, but drums are banged on with a new sense of urgency, and the release gets downright gritty in places.
Once again, the tracks take their time in developing, and while this release isn’t quite as long as the previous, it still stretches 6 different pieces to over 40 minutes. “Jololinine” starts things off with a bang as some distorted drums clang about and some nice guitar and keyboard interplay come in over a juicy bass lowend. “Distractor” takes things a step further, hurtling out of the gates with a speedy snare roll before some meaty guitars and bass give the track a nice rhythm backing over which some melodic guitar melodies play out. It’s easily the most rock-sounding track that the ‘group’ has done thusfar, and that sort of trend continues on “Over The Under” and “Regulkfro Reel,” while at the same time the tracks weave in more atmospheric elements to move into a completely new area for the group (which sounds something like a completely beefed-up older brother to their last release). The latter track builds into a particularly nice frenzy before dropping off into a lovely ambient closing section, which feels particularly right after the steady build of the previous tracks.
Following right up on the heels of that track is the nearly 10-minute “Hop Pife,” a track that continues the ambient feel keyboard sounds that recall light bouncing through a faceted prism. Coupled with a low-end wash (and a rising bit of haunting tension near the latter third), it’s continues the quiet break before the completely-different closing track. “Svrendikditement” bangs with heavily distorted percussive elements while light keyboard melodies play out over the top in a track that again takes the group in a completely different direction (almost completely electronic), sounding like something that could have come off the Warp Records roster circa 1995. It’s yet another wrinkle in the highly-varied album (which runs from Slint-like to downright Aphex Twin-ish) from Furnish, who now seems to be fully back-in-action with two releases after a long hiatus. If you enjoyed the last album, you might find this one a bit hodge-podge, but it will definitely get your toes tapping.
Following up their stunning debut, Octopus Off-Broadway mere months after its release, Parlour kills the notion of a sophomore slump by smacking you in the face with another brilliant endeavor while most critics are still contemplating words to describe the first album. Googler continues the meditative flow of synth-laden drones, crystalline guitars and dense rhythms, but a dark wind blows through the album to reveal the band’s angular aggression. Having helped plant the seeds for the sprawling array of musical inspiration that is Louisville, KY, Googler sees Parlour blooming vibrant new shades of a favorite color. And the best is yet to come.
Allmusic Guide 4 Stars
Released only six months after the band’s debut, Googler finds Parlour progressing from warm, Krautrock-inspired grooves to more thunderous riffs and rhythms. The spiraling “Jololinine” falls somewhere between Godspeed You Black Emperor! and Windy & Carl . “Distractor” is uncharacteristically dark for Parlour — a welcome, new, sprawling take on spy movie surf rock. “Regulkfro Reel” is metallic and propulsive (and then moaning and ambient like Sigur Rós ‘Von ) and sounds like humans reproducing the noises of machines. This makes an interesting point — that Parlour ‘s jazzy, pulsing sound is hardly post-rock. Instead it sounds like post-electronica, an organic take on the structures and feelings of electronic music that might just be the next prog rock. ~ Charles Spano, All Music Guide
PARLOUR Googler (Temporary Residence) cd 13.98
Much like the cloud of plastic googly eyes that festoon the cover of this cd, Parlour’s music has the tendency to drift off in all directions. From track to track and moment to moment, they’re ever-morphing stylistically and tempo-wise. That’s not to say that this album is scattered or haphazard. Not at all, there is a unifying slow, meandering flow to the proceedings, and it’s all definitely rooted in the postrock camp. Perhaps the diversity is due to the fact that these tracks were done over a five year period in a number of different locales? Or perhaps it’s still the lingering traces of the members past projects (The For Carnation, Aerial M, Crain)? Yes, the latter is particularly apparent. Nevertheless, Googler is an intriguing journey through melodic guitar and bass cycles, driving rhythms, warm drones and prickly textures. At times propulsive and sharp-edged while at others smooth and delicate. Six lengthy songs in all.
Parlour – Googler
I feel like I should like Parlour more than I do. I feel bad that I don’t. I mean, it has certainly got the right pedigree: Tim Furnish, formerly of Louisville heavy sluggers Crain, and ex-members of first generation fake jazzer ‘s The For Carnation and Aerial M. And it has got the right profile: off-kilter structural approaches to the rock setup plus vibraphones (read: textbook post-rock). Plus, lots of dudes way cooler than me are into it.
It’s like this: “Jojolinine” has got geographic guitars, rapid-fire vibes, driving drums, and layers of texture. “Distracter” has an edgy pacing, moodiness, spy film soundtrack atmosphere and tension. “Over the Under” has menacing yet oddly funky bass, and propulsive drums which lead to inevitable bursts of intensity. “Hop Pife” and “Svrendikditement” have loads of bizarre electronics, the former burbling and ethereal, while the latter is herky-jerky and distorted.
Despite all that, however, it doesn’t quite click. It’s too anonymous. The best of these kinds of bands have a distinctive bent that keeps their music from being midtempo space filler, whether it’s in terms of intellectualism, raw intensity, or just plain weirdness. But Parlour is lacking any of that. It has got the right shape but is lacking in form. 8/12
2003 apr 25
Parlour “Googler” (Temporary Residence) Their debut Octopus Off Broadway was a more subdued atmospheric affair, where this is a far more edgy and aggressive outing. Still all instrumentals which is always a good thing; the less said, the better. Pleasant mix of dissonance, harmony and momentum sculpted into these rhythmic clouds of sound. Synthetic drones, nervous guitars, thumping bass, and flailing drums, all conspire to generate these suspenseful aural adventures. Too bad it’s not all as crystalline and gorgeous as the track Hop Pife, which glimmers, shimmers and shifts like Cluster swirling around under the ice. Oh yeah; post rock, post office, post holes, and post toasties, etc.
(Temporary Residence Ltd.)
* * * 1/2
This exhilarating second release from Louisville’s Parlour starts out with “Jololinine,” a confetti of synths, propulsive rhythms, and guitars that expand in twinkling crescendos. From there, Googler unfurls confidently and with excellent posture, adding surprise elements to each track–delicately tough bass, scary swarms of electronics, hiphop rhythms, ambient twirls, twittering dramatic glitch, keyboards separated in chunks and hurled into funky piles. It takes a special group to play instrumentals without inducing the listener into a coma–and believe me, the thought of any more sluggish post-rock makes me wanna slice out my hypothalamus in self-defense. But with their procession of both organic and electronic instruments, Parlour twists and tweaks the right angles to make a compelling narrative structure. And they sound alive–an important aspect for any musical endeavor. JULIANNE SHEPHERD
Mere months after their debut album, Octopus Off-Broadway , was released, Parlour are at it again. Six enticing, melodic instrumentals inhabit their new release, Googler , and despite the lack of vocals, this could be one of the most infectious albums out this year. Right from the subtly angular opener, “Jololinine” (take that, Penguin’s Big Book of Tongue Twisters), the band grabs your attention. Second track “Distractor” is dark and warped in its eerie melody; it’s amazing that the band can control the music’s mood so well simply by their use of melodies.
The album’s best and most climactic moment is “Svrendikditement,” a spacey, electronic track. It’s almost hypnotic, kind of like new age music except without that corny Yanni factor. It is pretty abrasive in comparison to some of the album’s other moments, but it doesn’t seem out of place.
Altogether, this is a very successful instrumental album, but not an essential one. It’s easy to get hooked on Googler , but Parlour ‘s tunes sometimes fade into the background. Regardless, this disc makes for a very rewarding and pleasurable experience.
It took Tortoise four years to move from the jazzy post-rock of Millions Now Living Will Never Die to the more electronic based Standards . Parlour manages to do it over the course of one album. Granted it’s an album that took five years to record and perfect, but, honestly, the transition is so seamless the album might as well have been written in on studio session.
” Jololinine” is a wonderful, lazily organic intro with its sustained notes, dancing xylophone, and crashing drums. The more ominous and angular “Distractor” comes next. The open, airy spaces of the opening song are traded for small, confined spaces of dense sounds, more worried than angry. “Over the Under” starts off sounding like a lost track from DJ Shadow’s Endtroducing or possibly just Shadow doing a remix of Godspeed You! Black Emperor but trading the string section for a hip-hop drum beat. It’s a great song.
” Regulkfro Reel” is the album’s turning point. After three and a half minutes of circular guitar riffs the floor drops out from underneath the organic sounds and Eno-esque electronic pulses are all that’s left to usher in the album’s new sound. “Hop Pife” is stark, echoing, and fragile. It has the feel of ice forming on small pools of water, or rain turning to snow as it descends from the clouds above. The closer, “Svrendikditement,” bursts with cacophonous distorted drumbeats and electric squalls. Overtop of this a clockwork melody chimes along making the song the most ugly/beautiful song on the album.
Googler plays like a “best-of” history of the last five years in post-rock. While it doesn’t hit every note that’s happened along the way, it is sure to have something to offer post-rock fans both past and present.
Green Hell Records http://www.greenhell.de
Parlour , Googler TRR, 2002
Nachfolgeralbum zu “Octopus-Off-Broadway” und meiner Meinung nach setzen Parlour noch einen drauf. Etwas jazziger und pulsierender arrangiert, präsentiert sich Googler in einem eingängigen Slint-Universum. Sich steigernde Gitarrensalven, repetetive Schlagzeuggrooves und Ambientstücke erhöhen zusätzlich die Spannung. Vgl. Mercury Program, For Carnation, Slint.