Raccoo-oo-oon Raccoo-oo-oon

[Release The Bats/Not Not Fun; 2008]

Rating: 4/5

Styles: freak-y noise you can take home to momma, bliss
Others: Low Level Owl, Diskaholiks, Boredoms, Mae Shi, Animal Collective, Black Dice

Here's where the final credits roll. With each member sticking hands in so many outside projects, it's clear Iowa City’s Raccoo-oo-oon was never longed for this world. The group now becomes the solitary kiss from your childhood crush: the only way to experience those emotions again is to plug yourself into that situation by way of memory -- one that you hold onto as long as you can.

While subsequent visits are usually never as pleasant or fulfilling as the first, real thing, the beauty of Raccoo-oo-oon's music can be found in its longevity. A kiss is a kiss within a specific context, but the music of Raccoo-oo-oon keeps evolving as long as you play your part too. And no matter the circumstance, you’ll never hear the music the same way twice. Here's where your solitary midnight kiss is mutated into a weird makeout session. Soft skin turns to coarse scales, fruity hair smells of trash, and your lungs fill up with the stench.

Raccoo-oo-oon wraps up their recording career with the same reckless abandon as every album that has preceded it. The album contracts and expands as if it were a schizophrenic Big Bang, preparing to spew its volatile contents across the black void to breathe life into the dark crevices that have gone untouched for eons. Raccoo-oo-oon doesn't visit new territory; it simply reconstitutes the old into something familiar but fresh. Songs melt and decompose before you, only to reform and freeze into gnarled incarnations.

What good is a memory if it can’t be manipulated to extrapolate the most potent bliss? This is Raccoo-oo-oon’s gift to us before their final explosion expels their seeds into untouched corners of an ever-expanding musical universe. This album may be the final credits, but it doesn't signal the end of their impulse. While the group has decided it best to cut their lifespan short, there will be others that call upon their positive memories of this time to produce another great perversion. Until then, we shall cling to our own memories of Iowa City’s finest noisemakers and recall what it was like to hear them for the first time. I can already hear the final nail driving slowly into their coffin.

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