Sprawling across numerous releases, Curtis Godino’s previous work straddles the garage prog pirouetting of Worthless, the electronic pop-up windowing of bubblecrunch/bellboy and the woozy psych of Nothing On Semble. Characterised in all of these projects is a melting point between song forms and electronics, samples and effects turning a fairly normal pop underbelly spiked with something far more mangled and interesting.
Worthless’ stunning final album The Cave delighted in a strange fairground Wurlitzer infused, slightly creepy but engrossing rapid succession of dreamlike memories. Alien Nation feels like a jukebox from a 1950’s ice-cream parlour thrown down the same twisted subterranean void.
17 tracks, only one of which steps over the 4-minute threshold as your brain is pummelled by a million hair pin bends. The whole pantomime starts with the The Warm Welcome, the aged vocal sample announcing:
‘of course, this isn’t so much a show, as it is a special event, the way you’d expect a rehearsal to go if you were covering 3 volcanoes all erupting at the same time and you didn’t expect anything – don’t be too surprised, it’s all in fun and that’s what we’re here for…’
After a helium filled Sandman, and the brief textured splinters of Cubist Zirconium, Godino carves weird voids in the mushroom tea with Everybody’s Looking For Something. Noble Knobel chases piano spectres. Motorbikes and string quartets duel in How Far Could It Be, whilst the brief El Viral’s Web and I Have Trust In The Lord only add to the total mayhem.
Wobbly tape dragging clarity rises in the super fucked Sniffing Glue (on the weekends) before the odd grooving calm of Calling From The Present squeezes into your ear canal.
It’s clear by around halfway through this album, it’s one that’s never going to sit anywhere long. Listening to this type of fizzing creative vortex, is the sort of music that might just seem like a jumble one day, and a whole planet of adventure the next…
There’s almost a pop stomp at the heart of Repetition of Ambition, or some cocooned theatrics in Magazine Girl. A Cursed Performance appears like a bizarre theme tune, meanwhile Mystery Dance is pop music under layers of rubble.
Watery accordion wafts through Sending Messages To Listeners, rhythmic sludge floods Ask Your Question’s before the rapid kick drum and fairy lights of Now The End is Near bring the whole mad experience to a baffling conclusion.
It’s undeniable that a fly through Alien Nation is simply too much to process. Godino paints a world filled with a potent strain of kosmic pop that sits somewhere between bliss and nightmare. Imagine Pinky and Perky jamming with Joe Meek, throw in some cold war paranoia, dreamy psych, folky splinters and avant electronics… Now imagine all this as a rippling headphone odyssey that creates an actual bubble around your brain, and possibly gives you bloodshot eyes.
Alien Nation undoubtedly doesn’t take itself too seriously, it’s a wonderfully constructed and hugely welcome and enjoyable escape capsule.
Visit Curtis Godino’s Alien Nation on vinyl or digital from April 2 on Feeding Tube Records, available to preorder here.