Wall of Ears
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Wall of Ears

Seattle, Washington, United States | Established. Jan 01, 2009 | INDIE

Seattle, Washington, United States | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2009
Band Pop Psychedelic

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"Event Pick of the Week: Wall of Ears @ Strange Matter"

Every fire starts with a spark. Richmond indie rockers Motel Fire are no different. Employing slow-acting accelerants, the group takes its time before bursting into flames. The Amherst-based Wall of Ears is more spry and less contemplative in its pop pleasures. Its psychedelic impressionism is whimsical in its Flaming Lip assessments of the ghost of Syd Barrett. The solemn shoe gazers of Claim Culture push moody atmospheres for ritualistic contemplation. The Richmond quartet doesn’t play music — it taffy-pulls sound. Elemental in form and function, Claim Culture’s skeletal dirges have evolved beyond the need for flesh and blood. Also from the River City, Don Babylon uses humor and hooks to draw the listener in. Its fist-pumping, radio-friendly take on all things rock is all about release. This quadrophenia of the new millennium takes place Monday, May 25, at Strange Matter. Doors open at 8 p.m. Admission is $5. strangematterrva.com. - StyleWeekly.com


"Wall of Ears tap into Psych-Pop with new songs"

Wall Of Ears, which feature former As Cities Burn member Chris Lott, have released a two-track effort that previews their upcoming album, Hello Beautiful Nothing. Give it a listen below and leave us a comment with your thoughts.

Video: Watch videos from As Cities Burn’s reunion show

Additionally, the band will be heading out on an East Coast headlining tour later this week. - Alternative Press


"Perfect Organ Assembly Review"

must admit. This is a kind of a “stumble upon” post for me. All thanks to a few of our great readers, Josh Higgins & Andrew Dickerson. They both sent tip submissions that led me on a ‘Wikipedia’ style wandering that drew me to this particular release. What they sent us, is to come!! The amount of submissions we get from you guys is overwhelming at times in the absolute greatest of ways. You are the best. We thank you!

On to the music!!

This particular piece comes from the intricate minds of As Cities Burn guitarists, Cody Bonnette and Christopher Lott. Taking on a whole new process with writing and recording has led the music in a fresh direction, a direction of instrumental experimentation amid the style of psych-pop so common of the ’60s and ’70s. “Standard instruments are warped, octavated, morphed until they become unidentifiable: formless and new.” We are immersed in a space, completely foreign, and alien; completely new and refreshing. Each song constructed to be broken down and rebuilt again resulting in a bending adventure of hallucinatory and profoundly deep proportions. These guys had fun, and thanks to that, we now have a phenomenal piece of music that allows us to relish in the aural journey these fine folks meandered. - Sly Vinyl.com


"Perfect Organ Assembly Review by Caroline Belle Stewart"

When I was a child, I would occasionally involuntarily enter a dream-like state during which I could not confirm that any of the body parts I saw attached to myself were actually my own. I would stare at my hands for hours, desperately trying to believe they were mine and not, for example, the hands of a rodent. Years later, I described this alarming health event to a psychologist. “Caroline,” he said, smiling smugly. “It sounds like you’ve simply experienced what’s known as a hallucination.”

It’s happening again, after listening to Wall of Ears’ Perfect Organ Assembly, the energetic, pretty, wacky avant-pop opus of Chris Lott & co. My body parts hang creepily. They twitch. They open and close and purge of their own accord. Especially my lips. So much of the imagery on this album is orally fixated. The mouth is a doorway that all the trouble passes through. In the opening track, “Heavy Hologram,” Lott sings of a slippery beast that bursts out through his mouth and rains blood. But elsewhere, amid the heavily layered vocals, trembling morass of synths and weird, textured sampling, the puking needs to be induced. It takes a “feeding tube/strung through your gasmask” to extract what’s withheld. In the dirge-like “Miss Earth,” he sings of the laugh of a person lost to him that catches in the mouth and echoes.

The album is sewn through with strange clatterings, malarial singing saw and vibraphone, ejaculative guitar, oddities on top of straight pop tonalities. But its sunny, nostalgic harmonies often border on regret. “All your words/used to have meaning/but they lost their cores/float unmoored” he sings on “Autosky.” And then he demonstrates it. The second half of the album devolves into a series of inversions of previous songs, reversed loops, backwards vocals resembling Lynchian tongues. The last track is a terrifying, spoken-word fairytale. The whole experience is gorgeously disorienting, a state in which words, mouths, bodies are moot. We’re a tangle of disassociated parts, an assemblage of organs. It’s unsettling and cool. Everyone should know what this hallucination feels like.

review by: Caroline Belle Stewart - Smoking Glue Gun


"ABSOLUTEexclusive : Wall of Ears Video/Album Premiere"

Perfect Organ Assembly is the ten song debut from Wall Of Ears, the new project from As Cities Burn members, Cody Bonnette and Christopher Lott. The album will drop on June 25th on vinyl /CD/digital via Broken Circles. Preorders will launch on May 7th with an exclusive tshirt design. Head to the replies to watch the video for "Autosky." Track listing is below. - Absolutepunk.net


"Perfect Organ Assembly Review by Carter Fraser"

As Cities Burn have been far from quiet since “breaking up” following the release of Hell or High Water. A single Son I Loved You At Your Darkest reunion show turned into several, followed by a number of shows without their original “screamer” T.J. Bonnette doing songs off their later two albums, and eventually an entire tour opening for Underoath. Not to mention Hawkboy, featuring lead vocalist Cody Bonnette and drummer Aaron Lunsford, who put out a pair of EPs in 2011 and did a number of shows playing new material and some Hell or High Water numbers. That’s quite a bit of activity for a band that always seemed to be on the brink of breaking up even while they were around. But Lunsford has left to join Tallhart, which leaves us with guitarist Christopher Lott joining Bonnette to form Wall of Ears. Some might have been lucky enough to pick up a demo EP on the Underoath farewell tour—most probably not, as it was never made publicly available. But no worries, Wall of Ears have put out a full length LP titled Perfect Organ Assembly to entertain—and confuse—us all.

If Hawkboy was ex-As Cities Burn-ites trying to shake their post-hardcore beginnings, Wall of Ears is them totally throwing them all out the window. There’s a willingness to try just about everything here, and their influences are now much more eclectic than what fed into Son I Loved You, with they themselves citing genres diverse as Japanese psychedelia, Krautrock, pysch-pop, and free jazz, to name a few. You can call their bluff here if you want, but there’re mostly being serious; this is probably the point where we should stop comparing them to As Cities Burn at all, because there’s not much common ground left now besides the names in the liner notes. The artistic intent is not the same for sure, as they themselves suggest: “This is the music of aliens; pop from the fringes, the concept of sound deconstructed and built up again, fresh. Wall of Ears replicates the way deep dreaming feels or how sneezing can be pretty in slow motion.” There’s some dramatization there, sure, but the underlying meaning of the statement is mostly accurate. Perfect Organ Assembly is not meant to be “catchy” as much as it is meant to be an experience. How effective and vivid this experience is, however, is another matter.

The first few tracks of Perfect Organ Assembly aren’t too far from what we should expect from another level of progression of the trends shown on Hell or High Water and the two Hawkboy EPs, although this is still easily the biggest jump yet. The first several tracks quite literally form the foundations for the whole album (more on that later). Here things are still more or less grounded in the same songwriting styles we’ve seen from these two in the past, but the execution is totally different. The songs are less dynamic and more abstract, with a diminished need to “go” somewhere. Christopher Lott is surely a big part of the reason for the new direction, as he seems to be as much the frontman as Cody Bonnette is. He sings more than Bonnette does, whose vocal role is more backing than leading. Opener “Heavy Hologram” is the most familiar-sounding song on the album, chiming with twinkling pianos and painting an ethereal atmosphere with mostly unintelligible vocals (though they have posted the lyrics on their Facebook page). “Autosky” features a messy, southern indie rock vibe while continuing to introduce the listener to the flickering synths and production edits that will become more commonplace as the album goes on.

“Miss Earth” begins the transitional part of the album with a haunting “ballad” of sorts, moaning along to what could be compared to Come Now Sleep-era guitar ambience, but with a much more ambitious production job and a variety of samples along the way. It’s subtly complex, and sees Wall of Ears exploring their new landscapes as effectively as any song on Perfect Organ Assembly. It’s also among the most focused and direct songs on POA, adjectives that cannot be used for many of the other tracks. The swirling “Mind of Moss” beautifully fractures under its own distortion and static, and the heavily edited “Cancel Features” sounds like a visceral Danielson remix.

But this leads to tracks seven to nine, which is where things get really interesting: they’re other songs on Perfect Organ Assembly played backwards and remixed to the point of being essentially unrelated to their original renditions. Really; I could obviously tell many sounds were being played backwards on first listen, but I didn’t even notice that they were based on previous songs until I read so on their Facebook page. I’m fairly certain that “Arms Heist” corresponds to “Miss Earth,” “Ravage Holy Ohm” to “Heavy Hologram,” and “Task You” to “Autosky.” It’s easy to see the originals when you are looking for them, but they truly do stand as independent songs. And as you’d expect, they’re quite intriguing and weird.

The work as a whole sounds like it could have come from the same creative place that Sufjan Stevens was in when he made Age of Adz, but with wildly different results. I’m mostly convinced that this was indeed the best way for Bonnette and Lott to flesh out the songs in their heads, but it’s still not quite as memorable as many of the things they have put out before. It certainly achieves the surreal quality it desperately strives for, but too many times it’s just surreal, and little more. Songs like the chillingly strange and engrossing “Ravage Holy Ohm” totally justify their production choices, at least in my mind, but it still takes a few listens to warm up to things. I can hardly imagine the aforementioned song without the frantic vocals played backwards and the trembling guitar ambience. Certainly Lott and Bonnette have created a mood with Perfect Organ Assembly, however disconcerting and ugly it is, and you have to give them credit for that. But I find less genius to distill from these songs than I find “pretty good.” Madness there certainly is here; genius, sometimes.

Overall: This is not an accessible record, and they surely know that. I do not seeing it gaining the duo too many new fans that weren’t already As Cities Burn/Hawkboy fans, and any new followers will likely not be from the same camps that they’ve attracted in the past. But still, Perfect Organ Assembly is a fascinating look at two established musicians pushing their boundaries far beyond what one would have expected possible from them half a decade ago. Maybe not their best work, but definitely their most experimental. - Indievisionmusic.com


"Perfect Organ Assembly Review"

Wall of Ears is the latest music project from Cody Bonnette (As Cities Burn, Hellohighwater, and Hawkboy) and Chris Lott (As Cities Burn, Twin Killers) and I bought it because As Cities Burn usually has some provocative lyrics for a YUCCKie such as myself—especially a self-doubting [post-]postmodern one, considering the lyrics of Contact.

The premiere album of Wall of Ears, however, is not appealing for lyrics—and perhaps not appealing at all, as it’s highly experimental: And this is the first time I feel comfortable using that word, as three songs on the album are the same songs as three other songs on the album, except played backwards and remixed. And the last song is a recorded reading of a fairy tale with a beautiful princess and evil prince.The experiment does work, but not well. There is enough pattern in the music to play them backwards, and perhaps some beauty in tweaking it to make its own—but this is not enough. And the fairy tale is interesting and terrifying enough, but relies apparently solely on wordplay: the affair of prince and princess that is incestuous—making clear that incest is almost in the word princess; but I have yet to attach significant meaning beyond the realm of wordplay. Again, it works, but not quite enough. The rest of the songs, such as “Heavy Hologram” and a few others, are normal enough for fans of more moderate avant-garde rock.

But I learned a couple of things from this experiment. 1) Chris Lott’s voice [who seems to have taken more lead in this project than Mr. Bonnette, at least vocally] is good. 2) I would listen backwards singing if only it didn’t make bystanding listeners chuckle. 3) Mr. Bonnette and Mr. Lott can make good music, sometimes; it was worth the five dollars on Bandcamp. Experiment: learn: refine. - Arts and Ideas Review


"Wall of Ears release new video "Autosky""

As Cities Burn members Cody Bonnette and Christopher Lott have teamed up with Absolutepunk to stream their project’s (Wall Of Ears) new song and music video for “Autosky.”

The duo’s new material is appearing on their forthcoming album, Perfect Organ Assembly, which will be released on June 25 on vinyl / CD / digital via Broken Circles. View the cover artwork for Perfect Organ Assembly in the feature image box and the track-listing through the “Read More” link provided. Preorders launch on May 7.

Head through to watch the music video for “Autosky” and let Under The Gun Review know what you thought of Wall Of Ears. Is this something you plan on returning to listen to? - UndertheGunReview.com


Discography

Hello Beautiful Nothing, 2015 (unreleased)

1. Sea Legs
2. Ray Gun
3. We Go Outside
4. Talker
5. Balloon In the Sky
6. Toxic Wasteland
7. Wide Future
8. Floating Off the Line
9. Brain Thaw
10. Don't You Know
11. Ooze Out 

Perfect Organ Assembly, 2013 (Broken Circles) 

1. Heavy Hologram
2. Autosky
3. Great Big Birth 
4. Miss Earth
5. Cancel Features
6. Mind of Moss
7. Arms Heist
8. Task You
9. Ravage Holy Ohm
10. The Tale of Princess Pool and Prince Cesspool 


Photos

Bio

Wall of Ears is a freak pop band born in N'awlins, now in Seattle, centered around the ongoing musical vision of Christopher Lott. Utilizing unconventional instrumentation like synthesizers, samplers, and screwdrivers, Wall of Ears is fearless in it's examination of outside experimental electronica and sonic surrealism.

After releasing two acclaimed records as guitarist for As Cities Burn and playing in prog-pop outfit Twin Killers (Moon Honey) Lott wanted to find his own vision. Perfect Organ Assembly was released with Broken Circles in 2013. Hello Beautiful Nothing is their second album.  

"WOE's psychedelic impressionism is whimsical in its Flaming Lip assessments of the ghost of Syd Barrett.” - Style Weekly

"The whole experience of Perfect Organ Assembly is gorgeously disorienting, a state in which words, mouths, bodies are moot. It’s unsettling and cool. Everyone should know what this hallucination feels like." - Caroline Belle Stewart

Perfect Organ Assembly was released with Broken Circles in 2013. Hello Beautiful Nothing is their second album. For booking or other inquiries, please contact: wallofears@gmail.com

Band Members