the bALLY whoArtist: the bALLY who?

Album: A Pifler’s Patience

Album Reviewer: Michael Mariscal

Rating: 4

new rating copy

 

Making an album based on a book isn’t unheard of. Pink Floyd did it with their album Animals (based on George Orwell’s Animal Farm) and Muse did it with The Resistance (based on another George Orwell novel, 1984). Both of those books were rebellious and legendary, perfect for inspiring a rock album. Making an album based on a Roald Dahl kid’s story, however, is.

Which makes the bALLY who?’s album A Pifler’s Patience, based on the Roald Dahl novel Fantastic Mr. Fox, fairly peculiar. The album was made after the two band members performed an interactive puppet show based on the novel where their puppets would travel through cardboard tunnels in a contemporary arts theatre back in 2010. And the music is just as strange as it’s unusual creation.

Whether in song structure, instrumentation, or lyrics, the album demonstrates a refusal to follow tradition. Song’s stray away from choruses as a timpani booms and a soprano saxaphone squeals while the singer sings, “the farmers known as boggis, bunce, and bean… / they’re nasty, cruel, and mean / one fat, one short, one lean”. It all comes together in beautiful fashion on the first and second tracks of the album, Into the Wood and Over the Hill. The tracks feel almost magical in themselves, flowing in emotion just like a fantastical children’s novel.

Unfortunately, after these tracks, there’s a noticeable drop off in quality. Where the songs once captured my imagination with new styles and combinations of instruments, it began to feel repetitive in it’s similar approach. Still, the album is mostly successful in its ambitions, and given the sheer magnitude of its boldness, the band deserves a lot of credit. I give this album a 4.