Mierth- Moments after Moments
by Rev. Walter Beck
Somewhere in Indianapolis lurks the one-man noise machine of Miearth. Bryan Herkless is the guy behind the scenes, crafting ambient music for his growing legion of minions. This is his first album, following on the heels of a collaborative single with other local musicians (a cover of A Perfect Circle’s “A Stranger”). It’s a half-hour of haunting, hypnotic noise taking its listeners through a journey into the mind of its creator.
“I Feel We Have an Error Connecting” is the album’s first track and it sets the stage for the rest of the album, phone noises fading in and out, mixed with sounds of thunder, synthesizer riffs, guitar notes and a gentle drum-machine rhythm keeping the whole thing together. It’s not harsh; it’s hypnotic in its chaos and disconnection.
The next track is much more dense in its sound “Idle Winter” paints a sonic landscape as chilling as its title. The high-pinging digital percussion and single synth notes suggest snowflakes falling on a cold barren land. The rhythm is much more focused and peaceful sounding here.
But if any song on here has a strong groove to it, it’s “Life of a Raindrop”, the track’s swinging, almost bebop beat underscores the minimalistic sound of the rest of the song, which is focused on a thinly layered accompaniment to bring out the swaying rhythm.
“Stay” is a very dark cut on the record, with extremely low-end bass modulation wavering in and out, soon mixed in with heavily processed vocals whispering “stay with me”. It’s still a pretty minimalistic track, like the rest of the album, but what it may lack in dense musical structure; it makes up for it with the heaviness of emotion.
“Hostage for a Mile in My Shoes” is the longest cut here, a nearly seven-minute jaunt through a musical landscape of blips, noise and a hypnotic syncopated drum machine rhythm. It’s not an aggressive or hostile mile, it’s a strange and dreamy stroll through a musical landscape.
The next track is a bit more aggressive, “We Always Seem to Complicate Everything”, it features more of the low-end noise, nearly growling bass movements in some sections, especially the beginning of the song. And true to form, the music becomes more complicated as the song moves forward as more and more sounds are added to the mix. It still has a mellow atmosphere like most of the record, but with a chaotic sounds coming forward.
“Followed by Waiting” ends the album and it has a bit more of that swinging groove that that “Life of a Raindrop” had. You can almost bop to it, get into a bit of a swing. The jumping synthesizer and drum machine rhythm fades out as the record ends.
Moments After Moments is quite piece out of the local ambient music scene. I admit, I’m not as familiar with this genre as I am with some others. It ain’t rock n roll, but it’s a little something different and definitely worth a listen if you want to explore some new corners of sound.
This record is available for download here: http://3sdmusic.bandcamp.com/.