MINIONTV – The Last Projectionist
Well they’ve done it again. MINIONTV‘s third record in just over two years continues the quality of the others with their wonderful looping drums, powerful layers of guitar and synth, the prominent dancing bass lines, and that ability to get you out of your seat and punching the air. You know that feeling when you see a film, read a book or hear a record and you actually feel a bit sad when it’s over – where you just want a few minutes of quiet time by yourself before you go back to reality? This is one of those records. In fact the only criticism I’m prepared to make of ‘The Last Projectionist’ is that it’s yet another record I won’t get to see them play live and, being on opposite sides of the world, that’s probably as much my fault as it is theirs.
What makes some post-rock crescendocore better than others? The bands at the peak of this broad range of sounds have the edge in all departments, but essentially it can be distilled down to one thing: MINIONTV have that instinct for how much is too little, and how much is too much. Take the length – as with ‘Arecibo’, it’s too short, but rather than leaving you feeling unsatisfied, it makes you more appreciative of what you have, in the same way as great TV comedy is short-lived, in the same way as Bradman’s batting average of 99.94 is much better than if it had been 103. So too short in this case becomes the right length.
Now in my excitement I’ve forgotten some of the basics. MINIONTV are a five piece “atmospheric instrumental rock band” (code for “we’d prefer it if you don’t call us post-rock”) from Liverpool. They like science fiction, and CD sleeves being printed on 350gsm card. At least one of them is keen on cranes. I think that covers the important bits. Let’s get back to the music.
‘The Last Projectionist’ shares the same theme or story as my two most favourite films – Mon Oncle, and Playtime. It’s about what gets left behind as technology and society march forward.
Speaking of films, if I was Francis Ford Coppola making Apocalypse Now today the album’s opening track, ’This is Fucking Glorious’, would be in there. Chuck out the songs of the day – pay homage to the 60s but with a truly cinematic purpose-built tune. I can picture exactly the type of scene/s it would suit. That’s all I’m going to tell you about this song because I don’t want to spoil too much.
‘Rockets Don’t Need Fuel’ creates tension, apprehension, anticipation and confusion. There is excitement for what lies ahead, but like moving far away, there is some trepidation about leaving the security of what you know. This is the MINIONTV you know and love while serving up a healthy dose of fresh sounds and themes.
Again, not wanting to spoil the enjoyment for lovers of the band or of post-rock in general, I won’t delve into more detail of the remaining songs, but please have a listen to this track, ‘She’s A Sleeper’, for now.
I want to go back to the point I made earlier about the instinct the lads have for balance. Their songs don’t sound overly complex – they are wonderful to listen to and they flow so well with structures that feel so right, but at the same time they are rich, deep and intricate. With trademark skill they establish themes that each instrument plays variations on, leaving you with the security of a heartbeat without monotonous repetition. The songs are the right length for the style, structure and compositions they use -around five to six minutes. Any longer they would become diluted, any shorter and they would lose depth and their ability to generate an emotional response.
I preordered this CD a few weeks ago, before I got this review download, knowing I’d be happy with it. I am a big fan of instrumental rock and having now listened to ‘The Last Projectionist’ I know it will join MINIONTV‘s first two releases on high rotation on my stereo. With only 100 physical copies available I don’t know how many are left, so get onto their site now and get one before you miss out.
Posted by Gilbert Potts.
Tags: album review, Bandcamp, Gilbert Potts, Liverpool, MINIONTV, Post Rock, The Last Projectionist