A+ A-

Nonconnah - "Dead Roses, Digged Up Zombies, Broken Pieces Of Diamonds, Live Cats" album review

I talked with Zachary Corsa last week to say that I would get a review out about a new album by his project Nonconnah. Nonconnah is a duo of Zachary and his wife Denny. I booked a related project of their's, Lost Trail, a few years ago. I remember that show going well but not many details of it, and Lost Trails golden drones made me lose sense of reality, for moments entering an other world of Faerie or something similar. While I looked at this album, Dead Roses, Digged Up Zombies, Broken Pieces Of Diamonds, Live Cats, I felt small compared to its vastness. "I got scared; I put my phone back in place." After some deliberation and resolve, I have decided to face such a dawn as this. Here we go into the void.

Oh yeah, wait, I still have to talk about the album cover. The cover art for Dead Roses, Digged Up Zombies, Broken Pieces Of Diamonds, Live Cats was created by Zachary's mother, E.M. Corsa, which is pretty cool. It is a nice, neutral cardboard color. I usually don't like this, but it works well here with what I see as a friendly dog creature in a soft environment. Perhaps it is a spirit fox of Japanese myth levitating above a bed instead. That's kind of scary; I might start hiding again. How about those cute dogs and comfy beds?

 The album starts with "Rainbow Over Pegasus Field" which has a nice rising tone, a glitchy sunrise that slowly evolves over three minutes into bells and bats and the soft calls of night. "This Faded Glow Of Ours" is soft with post-rock strings creeping in through the static rivers of phonographic noise. "To Pass Through The Walls And Vanish" has some warbling ghost voices, coughing campfire rattles and chokes, and a tittering snare. "Path Of Tonality/Rapture Drugs" raises the noise levels into a harsh realm. Creatures howl as others moan and chant and the world dissolves. On the fifth track, I learned that "The Light Of A Dead Star Is Not Something To Fuck Around With" as a choir comes thru nearly overwhelming static-stics like nine-year-old me watching anime on the Sci-Fi channel through multicolored snow. The radio sounds at the end were pleasant. "All Those Days, As If Spent In A Fugue State" is eerie and off-putting, a cold slab in a morgue. Strings circle around, flies and gnats drowsy and drifting, drooping after downing dried fermented honey. Or perhaps, this is the view from the corner in the room as seen from those who are between worlds, the scene of the NDE. "Treading Unhallowed Ground" doesn't sound like it would be so bad at first. It sounds kind of dreamy here, but the odd voices that warble at the edges of the sonic landscape seem foreboding of something unwell though not altogether sinister.

"Hill Country Harbinger" is calming after all of the oddness in the last few tracks. I enjoyed the sound like stepping through a thin veil of water. Some people celebrate at the end. "Ceremonial Magic & Wicked Wires" sounds like what that celebration may turn into with the joyful fair reverberating thru alleys and townhouses. "Ego Death At Houston Levee" goes back to cold air eerieness. I have to say that even when Nonconnah sounds kind of creepy, there's something calming about it. Many of these tracks have a relaxed and religious tone to their sound. The end of "Ego Death At Houston Levee" has an interesting little tune too. "Ceiling To Ceiling Transmission Antenna" is another calm piece with another buzzing insect flitting about. The listener pushes through majestic clouds, guided by clarinet and a faucet of pure noise. "Flickering At The Borders Of The Frame" is a scary name for a similarly grim tone. Countless somethings writhe in a black somewhere overtaking the slight synth sounds that cross the air. Eventually, everything kind of coalesces into one and the new sound creator seems like they might be getting used to their condition, but it is hard for me to say. "When You Begin To Blur" is some swamp sound Bad Moon Rising interlude. It's another haunted track. I swear that an orb appeared while I was listening to it and possessed me to write this word. That's some heavy stuff. Speaking of heavy, "We Love Our Rotting Industrial Dystopia" is a heavy name, and I wonder if this one is partially serious and partially satirical. I know that Zachary Corsa takes a lot of pfotos of destroyed buildings and the like, but the name also comes off as a message about America's misguided goals and dreams.

"Half-Built Future Homes" is more droney celestialisms, an organ-esque sound on a sea of light. "Last And Languid Waves" is not the last track, but does sound like the closing track to a film. It's an interstellar drum pileup. "Sorrow Mountain And Assorted Haunting" continues a bit where the last track tapered off but in a spookier way. Instead of a heavenly celebration, it's more like poltergeist activity. The drums beat around in the magnetic resonance of ghosts. Perhaps the "Void Heirlooms Beneath The Floorboards" created the assorted haunting. It's another windy world, this time with a long monologue of lost words. "A Shimmering Veil Pulled Taut Against The Sky" is more warbly wind. "Erasing Spells/Magnet Dragged Over VHS" sounds pretty cool, but these last tracks seem a bit extraneous to me. However, I am not one of the creators of Dead Roses, Digged Up Zombies, Broken Pieces Of Diamonds, Live Cats. The last track is good for sure: "Black Construction Paper Ghosts With Red Glitter Eyes" brings more melody and charm to the album to close it out. "Can we have the lights dimmed to black?"

Dead Roses, Digged Up Zombies, Broken Pieces Of Diamonds, Live Cats is a long journey through the sound of light and the things found along the starlit path. I enjoyed the album overall, but it feels quite long for something of this type. Many of these tracks are formless windy meanderings; the lack of pop structure is both a positive and negative. I felt a bit overwhelmed and lost, though the album also presents something alien to most people making it particularly unique. The odd sounds, guest stars, and care given across the album are what sets this above, even if it could be a little shorter. I will definitely listen more to Dead Roses, Digged Up Zombies, Broken Pieces Of Diamonds, Live Cats and see what cosmic knowledge can be gained from such things. I hope that you will at least give it a chance.

Dead Roses, Digged Up Zombies, Broken Pieces Of Diamonds, Live Cats receives a Good.