There's a good chance that Ark of War - the debut album from local producer
Paul Lynch's one-man-band, ((In Mono)) - has the most convoluted mythology
of any record to come out of Portland in the past decade. In a town that
is home to both the Decemberists and a Klingon metal group, that's saying
According to Lynch, the lyrically scant drone-metal, downbeat-techno
LP is intended to soundtrack a tale of doomed love that takes place on
battling city-ships in a post-apocalyptic water world. The protagonist
of this tale is named In Mantis (also the title of the record's opening
track), and she is distinguished by her propensity to behead romantic
conquests with "razor-spiked arms that form after she orgasms."
"I've always loved post-apocalyptic books and movies," Lynch says. "So
I just started writing songs, not based on that, but I gave the songs
names, and then under that pretense I created chapters with those names,
and it all just fell into place."
Lynch is a musician with a history of indulging his diversionary tics.
He began his musical career by playing guitar in the drone-metal band
Carpathia (alongside Talkdemonic's Kevin O'Connor), and he has played
extensively throughout Portland under his producing moniker, DJ Tan't.
Despite his new project's elaborate story, Lynch explains ((In Mono))'s
genesis quite humbly: "I play guitar, I make beats, so I might as well
combine the two and try to come up with something original.'"
Composed principally of reverb-tweaked drum samples and groaning, overdriven
guitar, ((In Mono))'s music sounds like the heavily medicated love child
of Ratatat and Thrones. Lynch's customary stylistic mode is "stygian,"
and Ark of War fairly sweats post-disaster decay. "KLTV" uses moaning
vocals to create an air of anesthetized unease; "Fire South" piles aggressive
guitar licks on top of thundering drum samples, forming a sinister contribution
to the genre of "badass slow-motion walking music."
Lynch spent four years writing and recording Ark of War. In an earlier
write-up of an ((In Mono)) show, this newspaper described him as having
a "give-a-fuckless" attitude toward self-promotion. Indeed, Lynch seems
to dictate his own terms less from willful defiance than from simple habit.
The result is a creative product that exists, in this case quite literally,
in its own private universe.
- SHANE DANAHER of Willamette Week
see article here
Ark of War, the largely instrumental debut album from In Mono, sees the
band's mastermind Paul Lynch finding common ground in all his previous musical
endeavors, including his work as DJ Tan't and his time in college playing
in a drone band with Talkdemonic's Kevin O'Connor. The album is stuffed
with heavy programmed beats, somewhere west of Pretty Hate Machine, and
big-screen sustained guitar, somewhere south of Permanent Waves. There's
also a nomadic darkness that's a little too glossy to be called noir, and
sometimes the lockstep drumbeats sound a little videogame-y. But when Lynch
throws all the pieces of his sound into the wind, as on the graceful flurry
of "In Lust" or the guitar whirligigs of "Eat Your Love," In Mono brings
the listener fully into its beautiful, strange world.
- NED LANNAMANN
of Portland Mercury
see article here
Ark Of War
Red lights, dark corners, thrashing drum and bass.
Antis leans against the bar. As she tosses back
a bright red drink, the pale flash of her throat
broadcasts deceptive vulnerability.
Later, a mirrored ceiling will reflect a brutal scene –
she’ll walk away, unscathed and satisfied.
In a world of manufactured lust,
she alone acts on desire.
When she looks out of her window, all she sees is sea.
Inside the ship’s hallways, all she hears, KLTV –
seeds of mind control
that fall on fallow ground.
After the war, they left the land. Oil and water,
an uneasy truce.
Sometimes a battle to the death is better than a rose.
The soldier who can’t be killed will win her battered heart,
and old blood spilled ignite new lust –
the rumblings of war begin again.
Bright lights, loud shots and sinking ships.
Antis takes her soldier’s hand. They watch the past
become submerged, adrift on the wreckage of the old world.
They will find others like them and new land –
and learn the ark of man is not a warship, but a womb.
- Tai Carmen
art by Meaghan Monter