Matmos – The Rose Has Teeth In The Mouth Of The Beast

MatmosThere’s a real temptation to talk about the insane instruments that Matmos use on this album (their 3rd). The duo’s fourth album, A Chance To Cut Is A Chance To Cure, sampled various plastic surgery techniques and digitally altered them into glitchy, electronic tracks. This time, the album is a tribute to various icons in gay culture, from Germ’s lead singer Darby Crash to Warhol acolyte Valerie Solanas. Whilst the tributes are clear on the CD artwork, once you hear the music you realise that there’s nothing really to be gained from any intimate knowledge of these people.

What is clear I think is that this is Matmos’ most varied and interesting album so far; “Public Sex for Boyd MacDonald” is almost funky, with it’s squelchy guitar work and powerful synth noises. When I first listened to “Snails and Lasers For Patricia Highsmith” I thought i-tunes was screwing up. The first minute or so of repeated beats is off-putting, but eventually the track develops into a jazzy beat. “Germs Burn For Darby Crash” is disappointing as it’s just a shuffling noise that doesn’t really go anywhere.

But for the most part, The Rose Has Teeth… is an engaging album. One of the highlights is “Solo Buttons For Joe Meek” which updates the 60’s producer’s surf/space sound with a touch of glee, before descending into a dark and melancholic string outro. “Strings and Sequins for Larry Levan” sounds almost like an orthodox electronica/club track; it’s techno beat is definitely danceable. The Rose Has Teeth In The Mouth Of The Beast is another challenging album from Matmos but I think it’s strength is that there’s a lot more variety in sounds and texture than “A Chance To Cut…” and that’s what makes it and engaging listen: you’re never really sure what’s going to come next.

Matmos – Lipostudio… And So On (from A Chance To…):

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