Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Sound engineering by Mike Gentry
This evil summer that the band Iran speaks about on its excellent new album "Dissolver" sounds too damn similar to the spring and summer that the actual country called Iran is having. Lead singer Aaron Aites sings, "Even though it dries quick/You can still hear dripping blood hitting the floor/Stick a fork in their face in case they're breathing cause you have to be sure/You took it so far," on the song that finishes out a record that is a multi-personalitied collection of songs about disenfranchisement and the stance that there is no set of confirmed truth out there in the world so what the hell can anyone really be certain of? It's what's being asked in a way by this group of New Yorkers that sometimes includes Kyp Malone from TV On The Radio fame. The band roils and broils within the ideas that could drive any person clinically insane, pulling their hair out. There are episodes of a long-time friend ignoring another for the roar of the crowd, of a performer getting shot on stage during the very first song of a set. There are times in "Buddy" when Aites doesn't so much confuse "lying" with "dying," it begins to feel like the same thing to him, even though the lying was unintentional and like he says later, that he never even knew the truth (what truth?) so how could it be lying? But it might be. Yeah, these convolutions and thoughts could send one into convulsions without needing much extra effort. The songs on "Dissolver" are lo-fi tonics though, not forceful mobs of craziness. They're not quixotic, but they are unpredictable, driving us through these ideas that should be accompanied by furious strains and mass confusion, but allowing them to explain themselves and sorta sweet talk us. Aites takes us into his cave, into these thoughts that are more garden variety conspiracy theories - general notions that we're all getting duped and held hostage in ways that we don't even know about, or we're getting our faces stabbed with forks to make sure we've officially stopped breathing. He takes us in, throws some eccentric background music on the turntable, pours us a glass of something very strong and very relaxing and we're lulled into the realms of these skittering and science fiction-y tales of intellectual robbery, or at least the speculation of it. It's almost a liberating exercise that turns us into people who are able to just let it all go a little bit, as if there's no other option to take. We're all just the blood and guts and brains that can so quickly rot and decompose if we're turned off for even the slightest amount of time. Iran takes to the depths of what we're all losing these days or what's already been lost, or what's been withheld. They do this with much more melody and trained ears for hummability than the subject matter should warrant. The matters should just be accompanied by cobwebs and the beams off of flashlights, striking down on the dusty trails of elusion. The band takes us to those disconcerting points of realization and truth where we're catching rides on a wounded ravens, to borrow their own turn of phrase. We're just stuck sometimes and sometimes that's why there are so many hands in the air.