Ceiling Fan Internationale
Sometimes a band comes along with a completely different conception of how indie-pop should be played. They take where John Coltrane left off and twist a melody into an avant-guard free-time musical trip through a vision shared by the creator alone, leaving the listener to grasp for their own pieces to take along the way. Or occasionally, the vision is not as drastically removed from the norm, but still expresses the genuinely original format that the artist listens to and creates music by. Then, unfortunately, there are the starry-eyed worshippers — the unoriginal, the uninspired — who, taking a lead from those who actually produce what they know, squeak out in an uncertain childish voice, “I have a vision, too!”
And this is where Ceiling Fan comes into the picture. A group that undoubtedly knows how to write a slightly decent, simple pop song, the Icaruses inside them tried to aim too high — and these wings couldn’t melt fast enough. The pattern of this album — a pattern that wouldn’t even exist with the genuine artist — is sorrowfully simple: write middling pop song, and then, in the beginning, end, and sporadic parts in the middle, do something completely different. And so, fake endings are frighteningly abound, guitars will play temporarily out of tune, keyboard riffs enter for a second, the whole song does a 360, then comes crawling back to its original form.
The system is just ridiculous. Ceiling Fan should have been told a long time ago that they don’t have the vision it takes to become the next Sonic Youth or Beta Band, but Trick Music is the embarrassing result of their mislead hubris. The title even says it all: they’re turning their attempts at avant-guard into a gimmick. Frankly, they just don’t have what it takes.
Ceiling Fan Internationale, P.O. Box 2601, Athens, GA 30612