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MP3 Theselah - No Sleep, More Fun

Between dreamy and bone rattlingly loud- although sometimes both at once. Spontaneous and unpredictable.

10 MP3 Songs
ROCK: Noise, ROCK: Psychedelic

Theselah: No Sleep, More Fun
released February 2001

Joseph Kim - guitar, vocals, bass
David Yang - guitar, vocals, bass
Peter Yang - bass, vocals, drums
Nam Kim - drums

artwork by Shawn Cheng


The soundtrack to a strange dream. Music to listen to while stoned. A rage of deadened emotion. Something electric across your lips. Theselah''s No Sleep More Fun is all this and more. Words are hard to find when it comes to abstract beauty like this. Like finding yourself in a maze within a box packed away inside a hundred other boxes, the music here is twisted and disturbing.

Perhaps it is because the album was recorded entirely on a four-track machine. Perhaps it''s because the music paints such vivid pictures in our minds even if we can''t understand some of the words (a lyric sheet is included, but the music will take you into other realms that the words may not as easily). Yet lines such as "Grave put down your hair/Guns can change you down/Oh now you''re water/Goodbye dry/Freezeback dead" have an unnerving quality to them either when read alone or heard within the context of the songs.

Theselah features Joseph Kim and David Yang on guitar, vocals, Peter Yang on bass, vocals and drums and Nam Kim on drums. Together, the four men create music that is so sonically dense that you''re often left to explore the murk on your own. Two exceptions to this are "Nothing Special" and "Little Song to Self", the respective opening and closing tunes on the album. In these songs, the full on buzz has not taken effect, and we are allowed a short moment of clarity. Aside from those brief moments, No Sleep More Fun is an all-out sheet of dense sound.

"Uryne" is perhaps the best example of this. Opening with the crackling of guitar amps, the song soon turns into a schizophrenic ride in shaky rhythm and feedback. The vocals were purposely recorded too loud so that a sharp note of pure noise rings out at the end of every line. The drums skitter back and forth, not really keeping time but not actually losing it, either. The only thing grounding the whole song is the solemn bass line that gurgles out its simple notes. You don''t notice it at first, and then suddenly it''s there only to be swallowed up once again by the rest of the band.

"Green-Blue Crayon" and "Bad-Ass HiFi" follow a similar pattern. The former features a dense display of echo-laden guitars and the latter crashes all over the place with screaming lead lines and drumming that is far from tight. Feedback spills out all over the song as a determined riff breaks free. What''s the point? To hypnotize. To amaze. To be simply furious. A big "fuck you" to all those who wish to remain calm and connected. Theselah can quickly disconnect any rational thought if you allow them the pleasure.

Even in their saner moments, such as "Anna Come Out", the band can''t help itself but start to tilt the overall picture towards chaos. This song is as close to pop as the group goes. Frayed and ripped out of some lost dream, "Anna Come Out" offers little refuge from the onslaught of its surrounding songs. Call it "peaceful" if you like, but I find it just as unnerving as the other tunes. The dissonant and drunken "Lazy Dresser" soon abandons all tuneful properties once again and then dives headlong into the screaming "Take It Fast or Take It Slow", which offers a semblance of a catchy melody, but you never know. Especially when "Rooks Derisious" and "Anthem of K.O.A." continue to shatter everything in their wake.

No Sleep More Fun is purely chaotic and it works on a grand level. It''s not your typical noise rock. It''s not your typical drone rock. It''s not typical of anything. It''s purely Theselah. So for all intents and purposes, be sure to disconnect yourself from any current matters before unleashing the abstract madness that is this album. If you do, you''ll be sure to find as many treasures lurking inside as I did. But again, you never know.

- Jason Thompson
Echo From Esoterica

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