Bad News From Houston consists of Thollem McDonas and John Dieterich, who may be known for working together in another project, but this is a new project. Even if you know them for their own works, In The Valley Of The Cloud Builder (Post-Consumer) is a beast with its own set of underwear, and it’s ready to party with the living room light on.
The work on this album is on the experimental and avant-garde side of things, where one may find it hard to determine where things begin, end, or where one piece may cut off somewhere, only to continue (or not) a few tracks down the album. Some pieces may begin with nothing but the sound of a piano, but that piano may be run through an echo chamber. Then that piano may be prepared (or not), which will lead it somewhere you didn’t expect it. In a piece like “Changery” that involves a guitar being strummed in different intervals (sometimes sounding like someone pounding a piano with their hands), one may find themselves getting lost within, or running away from it in fear. In “Mile High Desert Meadow Tea”, it sounds like a microphone was placed in a washing machine and someone is creating off-tempo funk on it. Or someone decided to throw a tennis ball inside of a dryer and have the resulting sounds recorded.
In The Valley Of The Cloud Builder is twisted and quite trippy, but is a journey that will be worth a listen or two, before committing yourself to listen to it many times more.
(In The Valley Of The Cloud Builder can be pre-ordered directly from Post-Consumer Records.)