24 July 2016

MPGExperts - Fucking Donald to Death



There is something strange about the Tennessee underground, it brings out some of the most outlandish acts and people that I have ever encountered and I love the effort and art that goes into the scene over there.  It is my aim on day (via a load of medication as I am not a good flyer) to visit the area and sample to music live myself.  Until then, I will have to do with the internet releases and things of that nature.  Speaking of which, today I am looking at the latest release from MPGExperts who is/are one of the more outlandish acts I have encountered from that scene.  This is their second release I have reviewed, after looking at 'MPG&Man' (review cleverly linked here) from a few months ago.  It is an album that still appears on my rotation every now and then and it is not one for the sort of people who like the 'Now, That's What I Call Music 29878' as their number one record of the year.  It is crazier than a pack of frogs, more off the wall than Michael Jackson when he was still good and it attacks you like a Frank Zappa jam when he was pissed off.  So with that being said, 'Fucking Donald to Death' has a lot to live up to - is it up to the task?
The album is a collection of songs with three different names attached to each track – Real Yawny, Barbershoppe & MPGExperts – but according to information I have been given, it due to the desires for wanting the differences of the work to be minimized that it is not being called a collaboration album. According to the information I have, a lot of the parts to the songs benefits from that mode of thinking and the groups feel that the manipulation is organic, in fact they thing everything about this is organic – it is there vision, which I respect – but I will name who completes each track (it is an OCD thing, one of my faults).  But releasing the album under the MPGExperts name makes it a little interesting when you are thinking about the album as you not sure what facet of the band you are listening to at any given time.  The first song is “?What Do You Want TO Do Today” and is credited to Real Yawny; it is a noise/drone train of thought that moves slowly and sometimes sounds as if it is in danger of winding down to a monolithic crawl.  The sound is akin to being heavily medicated (recreation or medicinal – take your choice) and it is very bizarre in a psychedelic way, I like it – but it is not easy and will confuse the living Bee-Gee-Jesus out of people.  “Dubstep in a Mental Way” is next from MPGExperts and it starts with quiet guitar tune up, an interview with a lady than is hard to hear and drifts around a little like the vocals on the Orb track “Little Fluffy Clouds”, but as if the conversation was being conducted with cocaine instead of hay fever.  It is stripped back in comparison to the last track, it takes a while to reveal what is going on to be honest and it is more of an artistic statement and it really does deconstruct the idea of a track to be honest.  “Oh” is the third song on here and the second to be credited to Real Yawny, it is heavy on the synths, heavy on the surreal and climbing tones and some weird ass percussion as well. It is a song that could either be seen as a glorious noise, a happy tune or a condemnation of knowledge and not knowing what is happening.  Either way, it is a cracking tune that gets stuck in your brain and is a bomb of heavy synths that will wake up anyone.

“Good as I Look” is the first song on this release from Barbershoppe and this is a drone experiment that has a very natural feeling to the music itself.  It is a conflicted song, an acoustic song that is noisy, an alternative country song that is fuzzy, it is a contradictive song at its very core with a strange set of lyrics and a hook that you are not going to forget very easily.  The next song is credited to Real Yawny, but also features MPG & James Voller and is called “With All the Rest”.  It is a strong song, an instrumental that mixes acoustic guitar, basic percussion and a driving electronica beat that gives this song a lot of energy.  It is a song with many layers to it, even though I have listened to it for weeks, I keep finding little notes and noises that I had not noticed before.  If this ever gets an extended mix, I would love to hear it.  Next is the first of two songs called “The Motors Running Honey”, this version being completed by Barbershoppe with a minimalist approach to the song.  It seems like two worlds are occupying the same spot with this song.  The music has a slight jolly tone to the keyboard & drum machine, but it is a little dark in my mind as if it is surrounded by a subverted undercurrent.  It is a strange song and one that I am still pondering if the truth be told, a very strange number indeed.

The next song is another by MPGExperts and it is called “You Tried to Rethink (Gork)” and this is bonkers, full on aggressive, psychedelic, mind-funk/fuck, off the wall insanity that I have been awaiting to appear on this album.  With a kamikaze approach to song writing, it is just an explosive release of noise that goes through as many styles as possible – I like it, but I know it is crazier than a bag of frogs.  Following on is the MPGExperts interpretation of “The Motors Running Honey”, it is very unusual to hear two different interpretations of the same song on the same album, outside of a remix album.  This version has a Beatles tone to the sound, something based in the ‘White Room’ period with some modern fuzz added to the mix as well.  It still has the same dark undercurrents of the Barbershoppe version as well, music like this always has something else working under the surface and it adds another layer of interest to this song & to the album itself.  Next is the final song of the album – I will explain in a moment or two – and it is by Barbershoppe and called “Plagiarism, Appropriation, or Retardation (Anthony's Song)”.  A song that brings to mind the Smiths and keeps the light/dark configuration of the album going on for the main part of the song, with a happy tune and some confused lyrics about moving out.  It has a burst of synth noise at the beginning of the song and a lot more at the end of the song as well.  I think it represents the album perfectly with the confliction of lyrical message, light music and bursts of noise. 
Next is the bonus track called “1Pass2The3Blunt” that was released after the album was first dropped.  It all starts with a spoken word piece about smoking a blunt and then drops into a song which is supposedly­­­­ by a band called My Morning Hard-On and it sounds a little bit like a combinations of Beastie Boys and The Lonely Island to be honest on that part of the track.  Then it changes to a record by The Sweetheart Love Birds Song Making Hare Krishna after a quick smoke and a cough, together with a drifting into a stoner daze.  It sounds like a drifting sixties number that is easy on the ears and it is taken quite soon as well and we are back to the stoners.  After this we are dropped into another record and this one is left uncredited and it starts with an acoustic guitar and it drops a load of psychedelia on the world.  Once the music stops, the paranoia has set in on the stoners and it is quickly ended.  According to MPGExperts, it is a 14 minute metaphorical album summary, I will now quote directly from what I have been sent as it is a strange train of thought and I think it needs sharing - Since nothing other than this title has been depicting smut, it's  surprising after the first few minutes of music sharing awkwardness becomes a perverted club-funk  decent into a hypothetical hipster group called My Morning Hard On where scenes follow back to back creating  a hellish place when a victimized overweight club diva battles many narcissistic and infinitely fucked up people and then you finally understand what's fucking Donald to death.  The song cuts off and back into music sharing awkwardness, but now they're extremely high. The next song. Comes from that awkward cloud proclaiming, 'if I we a periscope' then continues to focus this periscope until the clouds are gone, but they aren't according to music sharing awkwardness. This dialog basically repeats what the previous did except totally condensed and the friendship between the two listeners isn't strong anymore.  Then the swan song of fucking Donald to death floats through a complex heavenly choir beside a pond of insecurity and bongos. The awkwardness reaches its peak here causing one to kick the other out. – All in all, it takes the ideas of the album which is essentially a smoking party and passing around of records and nothing making sense at places, but all the sense in the world at the time.

It is a strange record as always from MPGExperts, never a conventional piece but with some islands of calm dotted around the record.  I know the people involved did not want to call this a collaboration, but whether they like it or not, it is a mix album in the same way the stoner party was a mix session; but it does make sense to drop in under one name, sort of like a megamix tape that is traded between people.  It is not a record for everyone, it is way off the beaten track as I would expect as well.  I also think that the last MPGExperts release ‘MPG&Man’ was a smoother release, this does sound like a stoner party in album form – but it is a good record with some interesting ideas.

7.5 out of ten - This is good and worth checking out


Top track - You Tried To Rethink (Gork)

You can purchase Fucking Donald to Death on the MPGExperts Bandcamp page here


At the time of writing, Fucking Donald to Death was not available on streaming sites.

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