Matthew Friedberger

Matricidal Sons of Bitches

Thrill Jockey

Nov 01, 2012 Web Exclusive Bookmark and Share


The newest in a series of increasingly academic solo releases from The Fiery Furnaces’ member continues to mine the rocky terrain where art and commerce intersect. Matricidal Sons of Bitches takes the form of a grand, four-part, mostly instrumental suite that directly comments on the films of early Hollywood’s so-called “Poverty Row,” a loose collection of independent studios that pumped out ultra-low-budget films (primarily Westerns and serials). Friedberg’s compositions pay homage to these movies while ironically addressing today’s media marketplace with contemporary instrumentation and clipped dialog that provide for wild shifts in mood and style. Each section consists of a series of score segments to films that never existed—an onslaught of compact, well-executed thoughts that run one after another like train cars. The album has some of the same dim beauty and ominous spirit of Nine Inch Nails’ Ghost I-IV but takes a much more schizophrenic approach. Many of the ideas could easily be expanded into larger pieces, but Friedberger’s decision to present them as one massive showcase manages the neat trick of marrying technical mastery with nostalgia and, in doing so, creates some of his most compelling solo work to date. (


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