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Obscured By Clowns

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Album Review

"Hello Beginning, This Is My Friend. . .the End" starts off Rumah Sakit's third album, Obscured By Clowns, with a building clamor akin to the first track on Tortoise's Standards — as if played by Mogwai. But Rumah Sakit are both less destructive and less ethereal than Mogwai, focusing on the playful, sometimes even the ironic sides, of instrumental music. "New Underwear Dance" mostly meanders happily until it breaks into a thrusting assault, and "No On Likes a Grumpy Cripple" actually travels into Dinosaur Jr. territory with crunchy, propulsive guitar madness. But while Obscured By Clowns is an intellectually stimulating prog experience, the album seems to lack the real, consistent emotive push of bands like Dinosaur Jr., Mogwai, or Explosions in the Sky, the atmosphere of ambient outfits like Black Dice, and the utopian psychedelics of Tortoise.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Rumah Sakit got their start in 1998 as the lineup of John Baez, Jeff Shannon, Mitch Cheney, and Kenseth Thibideau began playing their guitar-based post-punk throughout their native of San Francisco. Without any use for a vocalist, the band eventually recorded their self-titled full-length, which was released through Temporary Residence Limited, in 2000. Rumah Sakit's follow-up EP, part of the limited edition Travels in Constants series, came out the next year. Their...
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