Excepter- Debt Dept.

RiYL: Black Dice, Gang Gang Dance, early Animal Collective

Brooklyn experimental musical group Excepter recorded their most accessible, coherent record with their latest release, Debt Dept. Emphasis should be placed on “their,” as those unfamiliar with the critically-acclaimed group may not be able to recognize most of even this album as music at all. Parallels will be made with Excepter’s newest record label’s headliner and owner, Animal Collective, but apart from genre-bending, the two bands diverge with Excepter sounding more sinister, pessimistic, schizoid, and dark.

To this reviewer, Debt Dept provokes the same emotional response of the most infamous of shock art—Andres Serrano’s photograph of a small crucifix submerged in the artist’s own urine or a Marco Evaristti display of live goldfish portraying their own mortality while swimming in workable blenders—but without the vulgarity or provocation of them. They move in the same direction of avant garde with the same almost laughable raison d’être.

I will illustrate the feel of the album as I uploaded and played it onto my new iPod with a textual representation of how Excepter illustrates whatever the hell they are trying to say in this album.

  • iTunes Classification: Unclassifiable
  • Drums Meandering, draining, post-apocalyptical, dystopian, noise, experimental Drums
  • Drums Steady drums & scattershot, deranged narration Drums
  • Drums Anti-consumerism: refusal to musical harmony, self-marginalized. Drums
  • “Entrance 08”, “Shots Ring” = buildup of tedium
  • Kill People”, “And and Every” = turning point of
  • Schizophrenic convergence of phrases in an album marked by dissonance
  • “Sunrise” concludes hideously beautifully

After multiple listens Debt Dept did paint—with erratic digital sounds and shrieks—a picture, though a beastly abstraction. Beauty and meaning can be expressed in the ugly and meaningless, but this painting lacked the relevance to do so. If Excepter meant to protest music through posing a Dadaist questioning of music today, it succeeded. But as my finger flipped through the new albums on my iPod, Debt Dept never allured me to listen without the specific task of writing this review. I found expression in it, so it never failed as music, but sometimes music ought to be more than music for music’s sake.

Excepter- Debt Dept.