Tim Hecker is going through a seriously busy couple of years. After releasing a couple different discs under the name of Jetone (as well as compilation appearances on Tigerbeat6 Inc and others), his Haunt Me release came out last year on Substractif and he's toured with everyone from Godspeed You Black Emperor to Kid 606 and Shalabi Effect. Now, he's back with a new EP, and if you haven't heard him before, chances are good that you're going to in the future.
Speaking from a purely conceptual standpoint, My Love Is Rotten To The Core is absolutely brilliant. On the disc, Hecker takes 80's cock rock (Van Halen, namely) and destroys it, breaking it apart, stripping it down, and shattering it until he stitches it all back together into something completely opposite from which it began. He takes the animalistic, pelvic-thrusting bursts of guitars and the banter of rockstars and turns it into something almost purely textural and ambient. What was once all adrenaline and spandex and beer-soaked arm pumping has been turned into something cerebral and challenging.
Challenging is definitely something that describes this EP, and for many people the release will probably grate the nerves. Like Fennesz with his Endless Summer release, this isn't electronic music that you turn up in your car and bop along with. It's subtle and layered and heavily processed, yet there are underlying elements that tie it all together. The disc opens with the track "Introducing Carl Cocks," and after layering multiple layers of dialogue over a steadily building drone, splintered guitar bursts ring out and stammer along, never quite riffing into a solid melody, instead content to confound all those wishing to 'bang some head.'
After the long opening track, "Sammy Loves Eddie Hates David" drops things off a bit with a melding of sound clips and subtle noise. Clips from interviews, news bits, and even live shows all swirl together into an odd portrait of a band who seemed like they were always stressed at the seams anyway. "Hello Detroit" follows quickly with a burst of shimmering, beautiful sound that was probably once a riff from a VH song, but instead comes out sounding like a rich pipe organ bellowing out minor chords in a cathedral sunk to the bottom of the great lakes. Hello Detroit indeed.
"Midnight Whispers" is another short interlude track that culls together odd interview bits, while "The Return Of Sam Snead" closes out the disc with another total vaporizing of the groups sound. The closing 2 minutes of the disc float by like the anti-flying V, finishing off an interesting concept of a disc performed quite amazingly. As mentioned above, this release definitely isn't be for everyone, and while the bits with spoken word don't hold up quite as well as the other stuff, the whole thing has more textures than the feathered hair sported by the bands the disc deconstructs. Check it out, before David Lee Roth (who finds himself as the rather unflattering coverboy) or Van Halen decide to shut it down. For some reason or another, I doubt that even in their seen-it-all age that they'd get it.