Connor Posey Presents – 11:33 – Album Review
If you’re a fan of extreme sounds, massive metal and all-out chaos contained & controlled within your music – you’re going to love what Connor Posey Presents. The title of the album, 11:33, caught my attention right away…not really even sure why to tell you the truth; but noticing that the album starts with “11:32” and ends at “11:34” – I suppose we’re in for what takes place in one crazy minute of time during the late night hours of Connor Posey’s world.
I mean…at least I’m assuming that would be 11:33 at night… Right now I’m picturing Connor Posey, getting up in his PJ’s on a Sunday Morning, eating a bowl of cereal and taking in some cartoons maybe, before heading into the studio and making these sounds at 11:33 in the morning…and I’m having a harder time imagining that could be possible. If it is, his neighbourhood hates him.
What I really like, and what I can hear instantly on this record…is a man that has clearly said ‘fuck it’ to typical convention. As far as metal goes, which I would still certainly consider this to be under the umbrella-of, this is innovative as it gets and draws sound from every possible pore in your speakers. And from what I can see…he’s made all this noise on his own.
Which induces the second mental picture I have of Connor…he’s changed now…now I assume he’s like, nearly 15 feet tall and like, stomping out villages in his spare time or something…
It’s intense like that I tell ya! But that lack of typical expectation for his music is working wonders for my eardrums. Much like the Fantomas in a sense; Connor has the actual ability to add true horror elements into this music in such a way that MOST people couldn’t listen to this album ALONE after dark. It’s eerie, it’s creepy…and it’s executed masterfully. That ‘fuck it’ attitude no doubt has come from his decades of experience writing, producing and recording music that I would have to assume is much more ummm….’regular’ than what his own ears and style lean toward – and on Connor Posey Presents you really hear an artist that has let himself completely loose to do as he pleases.
Now, Connor knows as well as I do, and as well as anyone else that makes music of an extreme style, that the sound is not a universally appealing one. The best thing about the people that make these kind of artistic endeavours is that they couldn’t care less about what we think really; if we like it, great, if we don’t, we move on – and they sleep in exactly the same position every night regardless of which we choose. It’s a mindset like this that leads to true art in music, new sounds, new experiences and real invention with potential longevity.
As 11:33 begins with “11:32” – you get about your last minute of reprieve right upfront on this album before Connor absolutely rips you a new one on this opening cut. Pounding drums, screaming vocals, great guitars in the distance…it becomes a massive wall of sound at an instant switch, big enough to consume your entire house-party.
But let me just tell you dear readers…if you want to know what TRULY gives this reviewer a massive, building-tall, genuine music-boner – then look no further than the opening of “Cro-Magnum.” The opening of this song is absolutely incredible, and it rages into the extremely epic in a slightly more accessible way than the opening cut. As cutting, sharp and jagged as this track is – it’s something that I can see a lot of people finding their way to. Kind of like a combination of sounds you’d find in tracks like “Mr. Self Destruct” by Nine Inch Nails and “Get Your Gunn” by Marilyn Manson, back before he became a pop-artist.
“Asshole” provides a rad time all the way through with crunchy guitars and an all-out assault broken up brilliantly with vocal samples that find a perfect way to fit in here. Towards the half-way mark of this song, Connor is just absolutely killing it…huge sounds all leading towards a breakdown full of demonic sounds and snarls. The guitar line is a complex one delivered perfectly with great tone, and Connor has set his own vocals way behind in the mix…to me, of anything I’ve heard so far on the mixing of this album, you can completely tell this guy is in full-control and really knows how to twist those knobs in the right directions. He’s made the music he makes absolutely MASSIVE by setting himself just a little further back than the pounding beats and grinding guitars – which ALSO allows him to truly let it all out at full-rip when he hits the microphone as well. It’s a very smart mix on “Asshole” and those incredible instincts and talent for production exist through this entire album.
Many people will tell ya, this kind of stuff is the hardest out there to mix…and they’re not lying; but listening to Connor Posey makes you appreciate just how RIGHT he’s getting it. He could teach a damn class on the subject.
“White Recluse” is a wicked journey that spans over seven minutes and display a range of gears from Connor. The drums are insanely good on this track…at times it becomes like a funked-out metal, which brings me to another point – as extreme as ANY of these tracks have been, he’s always managed to salvage and retain a melody in his music…there are hooks in here…deep ones. Just around the four-minute mark of “White Recluse” he throws in a well-timed collapse into the second-half of this journey, which rides into low-menacing and dangerous sounds to its ghoulish end. Excellent guitar solo happening way off in the distance…it’s such a pleasure it is to listen to all of these sounds mixed together so well…it really is.
You’ll hear what I’m saying, just check out “King Worm.” This track is RIGHT IN YOUR FACE the entire time, but the melody is completely there and noticeable…there’s a way into this music for a lot of people that they wouldn’t expect. And that’s why I love listening to everything that comes my way…looking for my own way in to the sounds artists and bands create. The breakdown of “King Worm” is awesome, but the overall assault is the real star and this storming beat stomps its feet with authority.
I’m not crazy in hearing those jazz/funk influences creeping in here either; I swear if I can hear them then so can you – check out “Pew Pew Pew!” One of the shortest tracks on the album, but one that packs in a maximum amount of sound and rhythm into its minutes and seconds and that ONE guitar note ringing out around…2:10 I think…I mean, to some, that’s just another part of the song…to me, it’s a highlight moment in a couple seconds. Connor has come up with some incredible ideas here on 11:33.
“Sometimes Made Of Porcelain,” might be the one I’d question this far into the album. At times, it’s one of my favorites…particularly in the opening which sounds close to something like Failure would make in all its bass-driven, low-end glory. The chorus comes out great as well…I think it’s the verse I’m not completely sold on in this one song…and it’s not really that it’s bad, or doesn’t fit…it just sounds a little on the ‘easy’ side for what Connor has presented so far in terms of song-writing and ideas. Musically, there’s nearly no argument, it’s incredible all the way through…the breakdown and eventual switch in this song will BLOW YOUR MIND. The ending becomes a complete blazing fury of guitar solos that sound just so freakin perfect it’s nearly ridiculous; they had to literally fade him out to end the song and part of me is convinced he’s still going off on that solo in a studio out there somewhere… But yeah, “Sometimes Made Of Porcelain” I thought definitely showed some real brilliance; you’ve always gotta keep in mind, on multi-layered, multiple-part laden tracks like these, there are bound to be moments that resonate more strongly with you than others. Would I have tossed this one cause of the one part in the verse? No way in hell.
But I think case in point, the following cut, “Your Hands Were Like The Sun,” went back to displaying that full-set of innovation in sound from Connor nearly instantly with an inventive beat and rhythm. Sometimes that lean towards what might come easier to him will lead to his advantage as well; a track like “Dirt Pits,” charges on with a more accessible tone & beat that could potentially pull in fans of mainstreamer Rob Zombie, or again, Manson. Guitar has a wicked funk-element to it again and just played at a ripping pace that really drives this beat along through the stuttered-shot drum sounds. Again, you will NOT see the switch coming in this song…and I’m not so sure I can describe just how inviting and awesome this song becomes by the end. It’s another fantastic gear on display from Connor and another incredible combination in sound.
“I Quit.” Oh do ya now Connor? I might have accepted that resignation had you not chosen to start out with that incredible bass riff. So yeah…declining your resignation – and that’s fully on you dude. Your own damn fault for making an awesome album full of sounds that make my brain pay full attention. This is a completely rad little track though…it’s like metal crossed with King Missile crossed with old-school Warner Brothers cartoons – and who doesn’t dig that when it comes around?
HUGE fan of the switch in sound he made for “Driving Down Dove,” where Connor takes the tone, style and song-writing towards more of a psychedelic-grunge groove. Here in the breakdown…I guess the best way I can put it is that I personally identify with HOW Connor chooses to display his sounds, music and messages. For about a minute, he turns the music way down to reveal a spoken-word style vocal, but it’s done in such an artistic, stylistic and purposeful way that it would make any producer grin. Great ideas on “Driving Down Dove;” this is an artist who should NEVER be contained and always left to his natural instincts and the clever directions that this song takes are a complete indication of WHY you’d want to leave him to his own devices.
“Part Sin” from what I can gather lyrically, draws on many of the electro-goth themes you’d somewhat expect…but again, that’s from what I can hear. The vocals, though always delivered what I’d consider to be perfectly, are distortedly inaudible for the most part throughout much of 11:33…but in this one and “Driving Down Dove,” Connor has become a little more clear. It’s a good low-end rumble of a song, and sets up the onslaught of “Flattened” very well. Complete with a porno-breakdown, you gotta love a little moaning and a great big O in the middle of your metal…
Also in the ‘gives-me-stiff-wood’ department, is the opening of “Sunshine Over Ocean Towers.” Absolutely love the absence of sound at this point and Connor’s made a brilliant switch in the energy here towards the end of 11:33. The guitars are phenomenal, the drumming as well…very Tool-like in a sense, like the breakdown of “Schism” extended in new directions. And then around 2:30-ish, Connor decides to bring out the funk once again and really brings some vibrance into this song. Clearer than ever before through the vocals, he’s put together a very clever vocal-flow here that works perfectly with the rolling beat and melodic guitars. It’s alternative as all-hell comparatively to the rest of the sounds on the album, but hold on for the fourth minute forward…the guitars become HUGE and the familiar tortured screams of Connor come roaring back in. So much to like here in this one song…it’s a big one at over six minutes in length, but he’s again come up with something completely engaging and captivating to listen to.
11:33 is over…as we creep into the final minute of “11:34” I feel like all-time has stopped. I absolutely love the atmosphere in this final tune…spoken-word, poetic verse flows overtop of wide-open, huge drum & percussion sounds and melodic, space-filled chords & tones from the guitars. This entire album is an experience you can’t possibly forget or erase from your mind even if you wanted to. The final moments of “11:34” are clearly the final shovelfuls of dirt onto an unmarked grave out there somewhere…with someone’s final moment assuredly fading out underneath the sounds of digging and death.
A really incomparable experience. It’s going to be over-the-top extreme for many; but if you’ve got an ear for production and a creative mind, you’ll be as all over this album as I was. Brutalizing sounds and punishing delivery – Connor Posey Presents 11:33 is a real winner for its astounding control over chaos.
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