No Serial Killer – No Serial Killer

 No Serial Killer – No Serial Killer

No Serial Killer – Singles Review

Because why make another record when you can just make one that never ends with more than a hundred tracks on it, right?  Welcome to my life…spent reviewing songs by No Serial Killer.

I’m sure some of you out there remember the past reviews I wrote on this never-ending album from last year throughout 2021.  While I was informed/promised that the record was over, I never once believed it.  I wanted to of course, but I didn’t.  I might have been born at midnight, just not yesterday.  You get a sense of what people are like in this weird business I’m in…and as much as I’d love to say that I’m shocked by not only the return of No Serial Killer, but to this SAME VERY RECORD…I’m just not.  This is about as expected as bread being baked around the world tomorrow…a given…a foregone conclusion.

So let’s see here…I know No Serial Killer is actively trying to kill me through my OCD tendencies, so what have we got on the menu…tracks forty-eight, eighty-one, ninety-five, ninety-nine, and one hundred-two – because that makes perfect sense, just like everything else does about this project.  My absolute NEED for things being sequential aside…I’ll be honest with ya…these actually might be the best tracks I’ve heard from No Serial Killer so far.  I’m not going to claim they’re monumentally groundbreaking or anything over the top like that – but this set of five do audibly sound like they’re a step in the right direction.  Or maybe absence makes the heart grow fonder, even under the strangest of circumstances…

“Meta 4” sounds like No Serial Killer is using extra space in the song wisely, and I dig that.  With a bit more of that in the mix this time around, you can appreciate each individual element a little more, and what it brings to songs like this overall.  Like, I loved the addition of strings and horns…quite likely synth additions, but welcome all the same – that’s a unique element that I don’t recall hearing before, which is great!  It’s always awesome to hear an artist or band evolving in what they create…heck, you might even say THAT is the perfect cue to start making a NEW album…*cough *cough.  Anyhow.  You do what you like No Serial Killer…there are technically no rules.  I can try to advise ya all day long on how the average person would never dare touch the play button on a record with more than twenty tracks to begin with and how this self-titled album of yours is now more than FIVE TIMES that in total length, but what do I know anyhow?  No one has ever verified my lack of credentials…I’m truly just some guy on the internet.  While No Serial Killer can’t disguise the similar rhythm of the bass-lines at the core of their songs simply by slowing down the pace…I’ll readily concede that “Meta 4” still manages to present that same sound in a much more palatable way.  Essentially, it’s not different, but it feels different, and that’s really all we need…some kind of variation that gives the music & songs on this record a little more separation than we’ve previously experienced.  It genuinely goes a long, long way…”Meta 4” really ain’t all that bad.  I’m still perplexed by the continuation of this project and how it might be perceived for its potential when it’s so entirely different from everything that’s out there in the music-scene of today’s modern world – but where there’s uniqueness of some sort, there is an audience to be discovered as well.  It’s no secret that No Serial Killer ain’t exactly my thing personally…but I do recognize some potential for reaching others out there.  If you’re into your musicals and theater productions & whatnot…this might be for you.

“Nasty Isn’t Nice” would be closer to what I remember from No Serial Killer in the past, though again, I do appreciate the added layer of…hmmm…that’s either a pedal steel guitar or a lap steel…not entirely sure.  Like I said though, it’s a good addition…enough to nearly mask this track being somewhat the same thing we’ve heard a whole bunch from No Serial Killer in various forms already, but not to those of us that have been exposed to the full hundred-plus songs of course.  Also, who says “Nasty Isn’t Nice?”  If that’s the case, perhaps I should just close up shop.  Anyhow.  I like the vocals, I like the addition of whatever kind of guitar that is…and I once again feel like the pace of this song does enough to create the illusion of some level of variation between the material, even though I’m not as convinced it really does.  Vocally there’s something really special happening there…almost sounds like a young Dolly Parton in my opinion.  “Nasty Isn’t Nice” is the kind of song that’s a lot easier to take after having had nearly a year’s break in between the last time I listened to No Serial Killer and now…it’s kinda quaint…I ain’t hatin’ on it.

So…hmmm…how do I explain this…when you’re using the same repetitive bass-line time after time, with such a similar vocal melody on top in every second tune…even when the sound of things like what you’ll find on “Yes” can seem like they’re different in some ways, there are too many ways where things are similar that it’s much harder to appreciate the changes as perhaps as much as we could be – make sense?  “Yes” things all fit together a lot better in “Yes” than they might ever have for No Serial Killer – and had I not listened to a hundred other similar tunes, I’d be a lot more enthusiastic about that – but I know that the core rhythm & beat are as constant as the sun…and ultimately, so does this band.  And we can only really give half-marks instead of full ones in instances like that, can’t we?  The changes being made are incremental…they’re appreciated, but I’m not at all convinced they’re enough – in fact, I’m like, borderline wondering if I’ve actually only ever heard ONE song by No Serial Killer, served up in a hundred-plus slightly different ways.  Am I taking crazy pills?  I like the string sounds on “Yes” and once again, I like the vocals…all-in-all, really, I think that it’s well-played and sung…it’s among the tighter tunes from this band, but it’s practically impossible for me to separate what I’ve already heard and experienced from No Serial Killer in the past to credit the music with being that much different now here in the future.  And they know that.  I will forever feel like listening to this band has me excluded from some kind of prank that they haven’t let me in on.  Joke’s on them this time around…I don’t mind this track either.  I do wish I could hear a dramatic departure from what we know into something that feels like it’s completely different, but that’s ultimately on me and my own wants and desires, not on them.  As it stands, “Yes” has a lot of charm and beauty to it…I’m nothing if not fair…and on its own, it’s decent.

Given that so much of the material in No Serial Killer draws upon itself, track after track, quite honestly, if they don’t pursue making something more out of this, I think they’d be crazier not to.  Think of how many musicals you’ve witnessed & whatnot, and how that one main theme comes back time & time again throughout the course of what you’re watching – that’s what listening to No Serial Killer is like.  In the context of a record, it’s a lot to take in…but in the context of some kind of theater production or with visuals to watch…heck, even a cartoon…it would be that much more relevant.  Otherwise, I’m 100% sure the slight variations between tracks just ain’t gonna be enough on their own to keep people listening.  Even in the instance of something like “Track Two (The Karrasch Philharmonic Orchestra Mix)” where No Serial Killer has you believing for about a minute & fifteen seconds that the standard bass-lines aren’t actually going to show up for once, eventually, we get there, and they’re revealed, as always.  Which is…perplexing to say the least…it’s like selecting a preset button from a rack on a keyboard…like it’s automated…like it’s a given – and nevermind that it’s repetitive…it’s more of a question of, as the creator, why would you want things to be as similar as they are?  I continue to have endless questions about this band, and I’ve never gotten any real answers.  Ain’t for lack of trying either…believe me, No Serial Killer and I have exchanged thousands of words between us behind the scenes, and nothing makes sense in any of those messages either…it’s just maze after maze after maze of things that’ll never make enough sense to me.  It’s like the musical version of Groundhog Day, and I cannot seem to escape.  Does The Karrasch Philharmonic Orchestra make a difference in the quality of the listening experience?  Again, yes…but also again, it’s slight…everything surrounding the strings is what you’d expect from No Serial Killer, as always.  So do I get it?  No!  And I know that I never will.  But if you can somehow prove to me that the band itself is continually listening to this record they’ve made – ALL one-hundred songs, and is STILL repeating it over and over and over like it was as fresh as yesterday…I’d love to see that.  In the event that you’ve been convinced this could possibly be the case, I’ve also got a bridge I’d like to sell ya.  Because that’s the thing…I don’t think anyone could withstand the sheer amount of repetition here, not even the band and the players, not the Karrasch Philharmonic Orchestra, not you, not anyone – so will someone out there please tell me what this is all for?  What kind of social experiment is this really?

Fool me once, shame on you.  Fool me a million & a half times listening to No Serial Killer, shame on me.  What’s harder than listening to a bunch of songs with different titles that are undoubtedly basically the same at their core?  Listening to a song with the same title, and expecting that it would somehow be different enough.  “Track Two (Sami Rocks Extended),” which is actually shorter than the version I just listened to…is…you guessed it…pretty much the same, still.  What I DO like is the piano here – and I’m like, if you have THAT kind of skill & creativity, why not go with THAT instead?  Forget the rest, entirely – And. Just. Do. That.  Because I’d listen to that!  The melody on top of “Track Two (Sami Rocks Extended)” is great.  The guitar is what it is…practically unnecessary beyond attempting to justify the title – but the piano is actually making some real magic happen on this track, and it practically seems like an afterthought…because we’re in the upside down…and nothing makes any sense in the world of No Serial Killer.  So if you realize you’re listening to the BEST aspect of the music, you betcha…it’s not going to be the ‘featured’ element, because down is up, up is down, and nothing is designed to make sense.  Instead we’re supposed to focus on the guitars somehow being the main feature here?  Really?  Why?  They should have ditched the guitars completely here, and this should have been “Track Two (The Kickass Jazz Piano Jam Featuring Sami)” instead…but that would have made some actual SENSE, and No Serial Killer would HATE doing that.  I try so hard not to get frustrated in these reviews…but here I am again, living out the craziness of what it’s like to listen to this band in real-time once more…long after I was PROMISED that it was over.  Which, mind you, even now, it won’t be.  There will be more to this story – I’m as sure of it as I am about getting a thousand messages from the band with a ‘goodnight’ attached to the end of it…this dude don’t sleep, and the madness has clearly crept in, permanently.  Any one of these tracks on their own, would be good enough…but en masse, there’s no doubt that it’d be too much for anyone.  I’m normally as cool as a cucumber, and look at how amped-up they get me!  I just wish I was in on whatever this stunt is really all about…and basically pray that one day they’ll let me know – because it’s not just about making music…there’s something more to it than that.  There HAS to be something more to it than that.  I 100% NEED it to be about something more to it than that.  Because otherwise nothing makes sense…and I’ll never be sure about why I’ve written a single word about’em.

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