Title: The Sensitivity Sessions
Label: Yip! Records
Catalog #: YP-030
Keywords: Noise, Instrumental, Experimental, Punk
Kaagootaabaa is the sole project of a man named John who lives in North Carolina. Performing often in a style described as tardcore, shitcore, and shitnoise, John has recorded over ten albums and even more splits and compilation appearances, most of them released for free through blogs like Sluggisha. He is also an avid experimentalist, as is quickly discernible when listening to The Sensitivity Sessions, having dabbled with things such as acoustic grindcore, sampling dialog with women found on pornographic webcam shows, and plenty of other oddities through his short, yet prolific career. Now, it should be pretty obvious that a project described as tardcore and recording tracks with titles such as “Pissing Out Of My Ass” is not shooting for highbrow entertainment. On the first of this two-disc set, there is an acoustic cover of GG Allin and the Scumfucs’ “Drink, Fight, & Fuck,” so, please, put down those opera glasses.
The material found on The Sensitivity Sessions is varied, ranging from brief noise forays, some dabbling with harsh noise that brings to mind the bass-heavy sound of Italian project FECALOVE (fitting of an entity branded as shitnoise), out-there jamming with both acoustic and electric instruments, and a few tracks that sound like skeletons of potentially-good songs. The two discs each have a different feel too, with more acoustic material finding its way to the first, called Songs Of Love And Dance, and more electric jamming with a rock vibe appearing on the second, Songs Of Fun. This variety certainly presents a unique take on noise, and I am hard pressed to think of another noise album with so much acoustic material, but the tracks in this collection fall more into the vein of screwing around than purposeful experimentation. As a reviewer, I feel let down, because it seems like I spent more time researching and writing this review than John spent writing these songs. There are some genuine moments that stand out on The Sensitivity Sessions, like the track “This Ones For My Dead Pets,” which could have been beautiful, engaging songs with a little more work, but instead they are hammered through, like everything else. After experiencing Kaagootaabaa’s almost-two-and-a-half-hour statement piece, I respect his experimental ambitions, but I wish he would spend more time focusing and fully exploring where those experiments could take him, instead of briefly gazing over the possibilities and chasing after the next idea.