Applied Communications : Heavenly Gospel by Lee Henderson

It is raining outside, and I am in kind of a bad mood. I’ve been trying to work on music all day andówhat can I say, there’s just no blood going there at all like hanging upside- down in a meat locker.

I want to get something done today, though, and thankfully I have a couple of reviews due. So I reach for Heavenly Gospel, the second album from Applied Communications, and am immediately struck by the albumís layout–hand-bound with string, the CD cover is nothing more than a folded, color-copied piece of high gloss paper. Inside it is another folded, color-copied piece of high gloss paper, this time with lyrics (or something). I like it. It’s econo. It’s punk rock.

It’s absolutely the only thing about this album that I like.

Weird for the sake of being weird (or for no reason at all) has never sat very well with me. I can spot these guys’ influences, if you can call them that, within the first thirty seconds, though I do sit through the whole album: Beck (when he was selling tapes out of the trunk of his car), “Revolution #9,” Lard, the Descendants, video games, and lysergic acid diethylamide (or maybe just Robitussin). And masturbation–ólots and lots of masturbation. Brutal, uncompromising, I’m- going-wind-up-with-Carpal-Tunnel-Syndrome masturbation.

I really hope that these guys are thirteen, but they have a website better than I could pull off so I’m kind-of doubting it.

Suffice it to say, yes this album is just that bad, and yes it has made my bad mood that much worse. It should have been called something like “Thirty-Five Migraine-Inducing Minutes, and Other Assorted Love Songs.” Except that nothing on this CD can be actually classified as a song*. So I’d go with “Worse Than The Holocaust,” and call it a day.

~lee.

*Just in case you were wondering, Heavenly Gospel is made up entirely of sound snippets like truncated (or otherwise irregular) drumbeats, keyboard, um, melodies, and, finally, what can only be charitably described as somebody using a dictaphone to record a television (or something). There is nothing avant-garde at work here. The ACLU wouldn’t defend this CD.