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Published: 2006/02/17
by Pat Buzby

Qvaris – No Neck Blues Band

5 Rue Christine 052

There are some CDs you get because maybe you heard a song you liked on the radio. Perhaps they’ll bring back memories of a fun time in your life or you could put a song on a mix CD for your girlfriend. Those are nice.

Other CDs are just there. Maybe you’re the sort of person who reads reviews and one of them made this disc sound interesting, or you liked the cover, or perhaps you have a friend with eccentric ideas about what makes a good gift. You just end up having to deal with these discs and you can either pretend they aren’t there or try to make sense of them. Believe it if you need it, or else see if you can sell it on eBay.

Qvaris is just such a CD. Surveying the Internet, it appears that there is a certain amount of hype surrounding this No Neck aggregation which has prompted a few folks to discuss this music in lofty tones. For the rest of us — well, imagine Sonic Youth without the anger or the songs and in a languid, Floyd-ish mood. Or one second of a Dead space jam looped for ten minutes.

After a few listens, some elements of pacing emerge. Qvaris starts out centered on guitars and then begins adding other elements into the mix (organ, violin, soprano sax or perhaps oboe). It begins with neutral space drones, gets ominous a bit past the halfway mark with some odd shouting voices on “Dark Equus,” and then winds up on a relatively soothing note, if you find feedback soothing.

It’s hard to know how they got some of these sounds, and if you’re in a suitably altered (or perhaps just sleepy) state, some subtle musical conversations may emerge from these 11 tracks. Overall, though, the question here is how much your appetite for studying strange objects balances against your need for more varied forms of gratification. If the latter isn’t a big factor, Qvaris is worth considering.

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