The Olivia Tremor Control - Black Foliage: Animation Music Volume One
Record Label: Cloud Recordings
Release Date: March 23, 1999
My car's air conditioner is broken and it's 85 degrees. A bunch of hot girls, way out of my league, are laying out by the pool. Final exams are around the corner. Summer is going to be here soon.
Every summer everyone waits in anticipation for that great seasonal album to go along with their days at the beach, drives to the mall, and cool, relaxing nights out on the porch. Panic at the Disco have decided to go back and pay homage to The Beatles and The Beach Boys, whose albums Magical Mystery Tour and Pet Sounds, respectively, are summer sentiments. While "Nine in the Afternoon" will more than likely become a sun drenched single this year, I'll skip out and dig a few years back for The Olivia Tremor Control's last proper full length.
Something like a melodic science experiment gone horribly right, Black Foliage: Animation Music Volume One plays with all the sounds found on The Sound of Animals Fighting's Lover, the Lord Has Left Us, but it uses the harmonious Brian Wilson brain nerve. "Hideaway" sounds like it belongs on The Beach Boys' Endless Summer while "I Have Been Floated" should be present somewhere on The Beatles' White Album, possibly before "Happiness is a Warm Gun" or after "Dear Prudence."
Black Foliage is laced with digital sounds and an array of unconventional instruments that could be found throughout Neutral Milk Hotel's In the Aeroplane Over the Sea or Brian Wilson's Smile. The vocal harmonies are what sell this album. Very rarely do you find a record with some key these days. Bill Doss, Peter Erchick, and Will Cullen Hart complement and hold each other up during their choruses.
The Olivia Tremor Control will add excitement to a beautiful day out in the sun, or even that fifteen minute drive to and from work in the morning or afternoon. Black Foliage: Animation Music Volume One attempts a lot, and this pays off for the listener. If Pretty. Odd. gets pretty old after awhile, pick this gem of a record up. Lay back by the pool and sunbathe in it.