I once heard an interview with Justin Pearson (Holy Molar, The Locust, Some Girls) in which he said that a fan of his said the music he made was "smart" and that was the most sincere compliment he ever received. He went on to say that he'd rather play smart music then play popular music. For the last three weeks I've been listening to Holy Molar's most recent release, Cavity Search, trying to figure out what is it that makes this music so "smart." Sure it's got to be a bitch play - all those time changes and what not, which I'm sure takes some musical know how - but on the whole I don't really find anything particularly intelligent about it. This doesn't mean it particularly bad though.
The most entertaining thing about Cavity Search is the artwork, which depicts an animated version of the band as gynecologists doing exactly the sort of thing that people of that profession do. Inside the examined cavity are cigarette butts, cockroaches, and an assortment of items that are quite unhygienic. It takes a lot to offend me so naturally I smirked upon seeing this and imagined the reaction of more conservative types. I imagine the band to be fairly liberal so I'd like to see how they would explain the cover art to feminists.
The lyrics, as well as the titles, have the same degree of obscenity but lack the humor. The song titles themselves sound more like one-liners a high school kid would say to his buddies when describing the looser girls in town ( "You've had more Children Pulled out of that Thing than a Burning Orphanage" and "The Night Pocahotass Spread her Land O' Lakes"). The lyrics are in the same vein as the members other projects, using abstract imagery as an attempt to make some kind of social statement. In this case, most of them revolve around our current sexual mores.
Musically these songs are really akin to the work of their other bands, which is to say if you are reading this, you probably have some idea of what that sound is like. Being my first time actually hearing Holy Molar, I was thrown off by each song's intro, which starts off as the type of dance music you'd hear at a discothÃÂ¨que. About five seconds in though, it returns to form, both spastic and grindy.
Cavity Search on the whole reminds me of an exhibit I saw at the Tate Museum of Modern Art in London. After viewing five different pieces of modern "art", it was the viewer's job to decide if the artist was seriously trying to say something or was just trying to fool people into believing their creation was art. I'm still making up my mind about this one.