“End Titles… Stories for Film” by Unkle

Album: End Titles… Stories for Film
Artist: Unkle

War Stories, the previous album by Unkle, was one of my favorite albums for that year. The combination of unique sounds and musical styles thrown together made for an intense listen. With guests Josh Homme, The Duke Spirit, Ian Astbury and Gavin Clark, the album had songs that were all separate entities but the flow made them melt together as if you were being piloted through a narrative. The production work by Chris Goss tied the package together and in the end the final product came out to be a finely polished and well written album. It was certainly a rock-oriented turn for the otherwise electronic artist. Does End Titles… offer the same thrill as War Stories or will the shadow of its predecessor burn away this newcomer?

End Titles… provides a mixture of raw rock with a processed soundscape to totally ambient pieces that are almost out of a lucid dream. Beats are also just as important, playing as a separate beast than the rest of the instrumentation. Much like on the song “Mayday” by The Duke Spirit which had addictive a stomp-clap beat, a lot of the rockier numbers will certainly entice you to get up and dance. The guest list has some familiar faces, with Josh Homme and Gavin Clark returning to the battlefield after the War. Some new names are added to the end credits, with contributions from the band Black Mountain, Joel Cadbury, and James Petralli.

While the album as a whole fits together and forms a spanning adventure with tracks bleeding into each other and borrowing elements from each other to make the transition smooth, there are certain tracks that stand out with a particular sound. The track “Ghosts” is a fuzzy rock infused piece that has a bouncy bassline and a strong and steady beat. “Kaned and Abel” is a haunting electronic background bit, which is short but gets right to the point. “Chemical” should sound familiar to fans of War Stories because it is the song “Chemistry” from that album but with Josh Homme singing on top of it. That song worked well as the instrumental opening to the last album but it is interesting to see how well it manages to squeeze into the middle of End Titles… as a more completed song. “Trouble in Paradise” shows off the ‘soundtrack’ feel of the album by incorporating a dramatic orchestration.

Overall, End Titles… doesn’t take the crown from its older brother War Stories. Instead, it plays as the perfect companion piece. The album shares the same energy, distributed between the full out rock anthems, incidental music pieces, and the drama pieces that fade in, swell up, and fade out like the soundtrack from a movie. The journey through the album will take just over 74 minutes. In that time frame the album will drag you through a surreal, lurid world and a story that you are only an observer to after the smoke clears.

End Titles… Stories for Film is available now.

Published in: on July 9, 2008 at 4:19 pm  Leave a Comment  
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