Eerie fragrance is the name the band gave to the reissue of one of their most iconic albums from the first era, also known as Eyeless Fabrication. The original version issued in 1995 was entirely made of cassettes. The new version with the new name is presented in a more proper sonic platform such as vinyl.
The album is considered the pinnacle of their aesthetic obsession with background and ambience noises, instrumental orchestration and minimalism, yet, the band kept evolving through the years adding members to their formation and instruments to the mix. Rob Millis started travelling the world and became much better recording in the field to incorporate it to the studio recordings of the instruments. In the interview on Brainwashed.com, filmed with the founding member, and which is described in our first blog, he states perfectly clearly how the band evolved through the ears to some more shaped records and performances. Their odd record collection and increasing fame as musicologists also derived into a wider palette to add to their own musical creations. The sampling techniques and the fine mix between dialogues, lo-fi hiss and instruments is a trademark founded in the first years but perfected along the road from 1993 till today.
As much as I made my point with the evolution of the band, I do have to mention that the richness of those first years of pure punk attitude and adrenaline seem watered down with age. If I think of other albums such as the 2004 Highly Bred and Sweetly Tempered in which the band shows itself more mature and crafting the songs from a mellower, melodic approach, I surely miss some of that youthful angst the first recordings had. Moreover, the joyful game played with samplers and instruments in their early days seemed more original, a strange juxtaposition of elements that lead to a whole different sonic universe. That ingenious touch got developed with time into a more crafty, wise and adult game in which there is less risk and more knowledge. In fact, when we listen to the record as a whole, it´s easy to be lost in the layers and the different elements that they use to build the sonic buildings they had in their minds. It´s an emotional trip with ups and downs for the listener as much as it must have been for them. Thinking of the members, Rob was only 21 years old and had arrived in New York City only two years before the making of the album, so there was a lot of discovery and wonder for him in the process. We can say that the element of creativity mixed up with fear and adrenaline that are natural in a young man of that age can be clearly seen in the seven tracks that compose the new version of Eerie Fragrancies.
This might just be the cornerstone of their sound and reputation, the record that put them on the music map of Seattle, and defined their artistic endeavors for years to come. To my ears, later productions such as the Soundtrack for the movie Session 9, and records like The Rock Album (2001) and Highly Bred and Sweetly Tempered (2004) have a more matured sound, and an even more interesting, deeper search for that ultimate sonic combination that these Seattle men spent the last 20+ years of their life looking for. We have adrenaline, attitude and playful experimentation on one side, and maturity, know-how and more resources in the other. Shall we call it a tie and listen to them all happily ever after?