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‘Blood vs. Electricity’ an exploration into dreams

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Sometimes getting away from the convenience and monotony of the blaring radio takes a little more effort.  In a musical landscape where only similar, generic tunes seem to monopolize the aural experience of the readily waiting listener, it takes a while to dig up music that speaks in unique melodies to those looking for something with a little bit more substance and a lot more meaning.

It takes even more time to find music that sounds the equivalent of exploring dark shadows hidden deep within your subconscious and provokes you to think about more than of the trivial errands occupying your brain.  However, after a little digging and plenty of listening,  it’s been grounded; Unknown Component attempts to take the listener on a search for meaning.

As an independently produced and recorded music project based in central Iowa, Unknown Component is a band, that, despite its richly-layered texture and full-bodied lyrics, is a one that not many have explored yet.  However, despite the lack of this band’s songs making it to the radio, this music project, run by self-taught musician Keith Lynch, has been around since 2002  and is on to their 10th album, “Blood v. Electricity,” released Oct. 23.

Featuring Lynch on guitar, drums and piano, everything on “Blood v. Electricity” was self recorded and mixed independently.

“I actually prefer it that way,” comments Lynch.  “It allows me the freedom to go in any direction I’d like. Recording these albums independently has really given me a lot of experience as a producer. Which in turn, has helped me to make a better sounding album.”

This layered music has an electronic, synthesized sound that was inspired by the “desire to communicate ideas and feelings are … impossible to communicate through regular words or speech,” according to Lynch.  Lynch does this by creating a dream world that attempts to tackle everything from misery to faith with lyrics built from a half-bitter, half well-worn wisdom of the world.

This 11-song album opens gently with the piano and synthesized sounds in “Intuition.” Soft and melodic, this first song sets the tone for entire album. It sounds as if it should be playing during a montage of people leaving their homes on a dark fall night with lyrics that seem to be loaded full of an unavoidable melancholy: “the light is getting darker and the air is slowly taken away.”

The rest of the album follows suit. As the tracks progress, so does the beautifully crafted feeling of an almost inescapable sadness.

“Nowhere is Alone,” a song that explores that realm of a sort of aloneness, is a haunting ballad that is full bodied. From the quick strumming of the guitar to Lynch’s complementary voice that accents the buildup of tension to the lyrics that are at first paradoxical but completely pleasing. “Nowhere is alone when nothing is inside, I am more at home than I have been alive”

Despite the haunting vibe this album possesses, it also has moments of rock catchiness that are vaguely reminiscent of The Cure in a ‘80s rock meets dark and jaded feelings sort of manner in songs like “Sensory Deprivation” and “Moral Vultures.”

However, when it comes to influences, Lynch states that he tries to stray away from “strong influences so that I can create my own sound and my own style. That way I don’t have to rely on sounding like someone else.”

“Gypsies Of The Apocalypse” and “Painting the Weather” are other stand-out songs that also hit hard on the album’s undertone of sadness with the strumming guitar that pairs well with Lynch’s voice.

Part electronic, part haunting vibes and lyrics, this album is full parts exploration into dreams and darkness that others are not intrepid enough to explore. It is available for purchase for only $5 here: http://unknowncomponent.com/press/blood-v-electricty/. Check it out if you are ready to listen to something with a little more meaning and a lot more originality than what you are used to.

About the Author

Colleen Keehl

Colleen Keehl is the Chimes Arts and Entertainment editor for the 2012-13 school year.

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