An avant-garde Life of Pablo by an artist with more roots to bedroom producers like Blank Banshee than to Kanye, Goodbye to All That is a collection of miscellaneous songs by Bigmouth, an artist who has no quarrel in diversifying his music
If there’s any one thing that this album has going for it, its that its not afraid to fail – it tries many things and for that effort there are a lot of things that work, the drums sound properly programmed and robotic, the atmosphere is full of reversed noises, reverb, electronica inspired melodies, unconventional instrumentation, etc. But for all the things that this album does right, something that it does severely lack is cohesion, tracks roughly flow from one to the other, some being brief snapshots of loops and melodies, some being entirely too long to stomach.
Most songs are a single music phrase or idea, repeated on loops until the song ends, within the individual songs, there’s not much to be found in the way of dynamics, except for the rare song with seemingly unintentional dissonant, or the songs that are mixed so incredibly loud they force you awake.
The highlight of the album is track 7: Sketchbook, an 11 minute suite that begins with a dungeon-synth inspired ambient track that seems pulled straight from the outtakes of Burzum’s Filosofem, before quickly changes into a bare and simple bass melody. The song takes many more turns after that, folk guitar fingerstyle, piano melody, each section feels fresh and new, before reaching an ambient emotional catharsis, with a piano ballad that wouldn’t feel too out of place on an album like Grouper’s Ruins, perfectly encapsulating the manic unpredictability of the entire project.
The songs after that feel unfortunately like a retread of the albums that came before, some of which are admittedly fun to listen to, Synthesia has lightly reverbed synth bells handling the main melody while a sweeping pad fills in the chords, Technoramic Headache has synths filling up the role of strings while a soft, uncertain voice narrates a story of uncertainty and confusion.
Many songs seem to fall into 1 of 2 categories, they are either songs heavily inspired by the dungeon synth sounds of bands like Secret Stairway, mixed with the vaporwave aesthetic of musicians like James Ferraro, or they are bedroom demos, recordings of guitar or bass, usually with no vocals. The quality jumps between these two kinds of tracks are always jarring, especially when no logical reason can be made as to why these uncompleted demos were added in the first place.
Goodbye to All That is, at all times, a cluster of an album, one that is equal parts unaware of its own potential and full aware
of it. The album would benefit greatly from a second look.
Listen here: https://bigmouthed.bandcamp.com/album/goodbye-to-all-that