Review: This Busy Monster

This Busy Monster
(Barsuk Records)

Have you read any E.E. Cummings poetry lately?  He’s that guy who writes with no capital letters and a lot of his poems are these lyrical, whimsical things that don’t really make a lot of sense, but still leave me feeling sort of happy on the inside.  Listening to “Fireworks” is a lot like hearing an E.E. Cummings poem set to music; a lot of serious yet strikingly quirky tunes all loosely held together by a thin thread of a melody.  The lyrics are often quasi-gibberish (“the swollen moon is hanging low and yellow-you come in shadows-not feeling quite yourself, loup-garou”), and the instruments you’d expect to hear are augmented by such oddities as a singing saw and a banjo.  Obviously, This Busy Monster is a tough band to pigeonhole.  What the hell are they?  Experimental?  Alternative?  The much dreaded dark pop?  Who the hell cares, really.  With lots of moody, ethereal music, TBM delivers something decidedly off the beaten path, and even though it’s a little too poetic for its own good sometimes, it’s still pretty puddlewonderful.  That’s an allusion to Cummings, in case you haven’t been keeping up with the reading.