Life inside a hollowed-out tree trunk is secretive. All the happenings in this elaborate and delicately crafted world are unknown to most people in the outside world. Everything lives together. It is beautiful in its symbiotic simplicity. "Floating Image" is a reflection of this reverie. Hushed whispers speak an unintelligible language that acts like the constant murmurs running through our collective conscious. Glockenspiel chimes show the path to the top, where we all bathe in the sun's luminance. This ethereal place emanates the smell of mold and moss, but to our senses, it is perfume for the masses. As the ghostly synth tones rise toward the heavens and the sunlight paints the walls, everything is revealed. This is a machine at work. Each termite, holding hands, keeping this sanctuary standing. "Floating Image" is all about its minimalist, intricate beauty.
Life as a stowaway on a cross-Atlantic ocean liner, circa 1920, is lonely. You sit inside the depths of this metal hull, listening to the wind churn up waves that violently crash against this massive ship. "Walking the Transom" is a reflection of this desolate hell. You squirm with every creak and crack, thinking that this will be the time the hull gives way and lets the freezing sea in. Every so often, you can hear the fog horn bellow. It vibrates everything, including the teeth in your skull; it feels as though they could fall out at any moment. The only way you can survive is to sneak up to the upper decks and dig through the garbage, finding any leftover food you can. While you're hiding, you catch a glimpse into the main dining room where you hear glasses clinking and see crystal chandeliers dropping from the ceiling. It seems absurd to have wasted this much money on a boat. As your destination draws near, you get dressed in your one last pair of clean clothes and take a stroll on the main deck. It's easy to blend in while everyone is out there. The skies finally opened up today, and while most are running to take cover from the rain, you just raise your arms toward the sky and get drenched in its cold, stinging glory. Life is definitely for the living.
Life in a science lab is full of contrasts. Sometimes it's perfect - you get everything you need and are in a clean, safe environment. There's a utopian aspect to it at times, but those moments often turn creepy fast. It's the extended periods of time in between those moments that are hell. There's nothing worse than being poked, prodded, injected, and everything else imaginable by some balding guy in a pristine white lab coat. This is "Owl's Vector Speech." It teeters between the calm, pleasant days, and the hellish, scary ones. The dichotomy between the serenity and misery that this life exudes. It's impossible to get a firm grasp on; just when you think you've got the days figured out and prepare yourself mentally for the torture you're about to undergo, they mix things up just to fuck with you. It's like some evil circus where the ringleader randomly spits fire into the audience when it's least expected. Half of the people are entertained and enjoy themselves (assuming the audience is as equally twisted) and the other half are charred. At least they can just get up and leave. For those of us inside these cages, there's no way to escape... 8/10 -- Brad Rose (25 May, 2005)