Although the swaths of wacky electronics are the traits that are the most immediate and aggressive characteristics of this album, James Cuomo and the Spoils of War's chief strengths were in fact their haunting and inventively arranged songs.
Tunes like "You're the Girl" and especially "Now Is Made in America," with its lyrical references to detachable halos, eerie organ and unearthly high vocals, are reflections of a tender psyche as frail as an eggshell. At other points the vocals -- occasionally female, occasionally sped-up -- and melodic-but-experimental song shards recall parts of the Mothers of Invention in the We're Only in It for the Money era. Sometimes the electronic squiggles and blasts are effective, as on the foghorn-like tones into which "E-Thing" dissolves. More often, though, it's distracting and gimmicky, as though someone felt the material had to be even farther out than it was to gain credibility. At its best, it's the kind of astral, dreamlike underground psychedelia that was too off-the-wall and spontaneously idiosyncratic to be convincingly recreated after the '60s.
|Walk in, Walk Out||The Spoils of War|
|First Love, Last Love||The Spoils of War|
|E-Thing||The Spoils of War|
|You're the Girl||The Spoils of War|
|Now Is Made in America||The Spoils of War|
|Rit Yellow of the Sun||The Spoils of War|
|The Crimson Uniform/Jena's Score||The Spoils of War|
|The Record Rejects/After the Party/Lonesome Is a Truer Word/End||The Spoils of War|
|What Happens Now/Now Is Made in America/Henry T. Joseph||The Spoils of War|
|Void of Mystery/The Greyness Moves in Quietly||The Spoils of War|
|Susan Never Smiles/Remembering||The Spoils of War|
|Ring, Magic Telephone, Ring||The Spoils of War|
|Victoria Falls||The Spoils of War|