It’s time to get musically graphic, folks.

Earlier today the venerable Anagram King posted this new variation of a viral thingy from a few years ago. It’s a simple, creative and fun diversion, especially when all your writing ideas are still gestating. Create a fictional cover for a fictional album by a fictional band! So let’s all play along, shall we? All you have to do is follow these simple steps.

– Band Name: Go to Wikipedia and click on “Random Article.” (In the left hand column under the Wikipedia logo.) Ta-da! The name of the article is now your band’s name!
– Album Title: Pick a number between 3 and 7, inclusive. Pop onto Google and type in “Random Quotes”. Click on any link on the first Google page which appears. On the page wherever this lands go down to the quote corresponding with the number you chose. That, my friends, is the quote you will use. Choose consecutive words anywhere in that quote equal to the number you picked and Voila!, you have your new band’s album title!
– Album Photo: Go back to the Google homepage. Type in all the words from your quote you didn’t use for your album title. Search under Images and choose the 3rd picture on page 2. Bam! There’s your cover art!
– Putting it all together: Open your photo editing software. If you don’t have any Picnik is a free and easy option. Edit your three pieces – band name, album title, album photo – into one cohesive product. Presto! You have created a new album cover for a fictional band!

Being the ornery type I couldn’t stop at one. I’ve created three. Continuing with the ornery thing I wasn’t content to stop at cover art. Also included are reviews for each non-existent album. Rock on, hipsters, rock on.

Rasmus Hardiker – About the Random Cruelty

Rasmus Hardiker returns to his roots with this hard-eyed look at the plight of 21st century America. Not since 2003’s astounding Because We See has his music sounded so self-assured. He alternately ferociously rocks as hard as ever (“Flintlock”, “One Less Recess”) and whispers deeply affecting ballads (“Pool of Tears”, “Skyline Drive”). Recorded in Nashville over a frantic three week period last fall all these songs pulsate with tragedy, pain and betrayal. The production is straightforward and no nonsense, sparse as a foreclosed house. It creates a climate of desperation reflective of desperate times. Every cut was recorded live; he uses no overdubbing or other studio flourishes. By sacrificing finesse for emotion the overall effect carries a heavyweight’s punch. About the Random Cruelty may be his finest work.

Paradox of Nihilism – I Think That People Have

Debut albums can be tricky and there’s no better example than I Think That People Have by Akron headbangers, Paradox of Nihilism. Led by the songwriting team of Jmy Staples (that’s not a misspelling) and Sid Braver (who also sings lead) Paradox of Nihilism works very, very, very hard at scorching the earth. When they aren’t so self-consciously trying to inject meaning into songs, which were mainly written as an excuse for Staples to display his blistering guitar chops, they hit the mark. Thrashers everywhere will sanctify the album’s two legit screamers (“Magma Opus II” and “Neutron Meltdown Holiday”), but will find themselves without direction throughout the rest of the album. However, sometimes it only takes one song to catapult a band to the top. I Think That People Have offers two.

Manitook Mountain – Approaching Nervous Breakdown

You never know what to expect from Manitook Mountain and their 14th studio album is no exception. From its cover art, all pastel and fairytale-like, to its very prominent Approaching Nervous Breakdown title, dropping from left to right like an avalanche warning, the listener cannot imagine what’s inside. Will this harken back to the medieval music sensibility they’ve dabbled with throughout their career or will it be closer to country sound they experimented with (to great success) in the late 1990’s? Will they forgo the lush orchestration of their most recent work or pick up where they left off after their first two albums, sounding like an updated version of “The Band”? As it turns out it’s none of that. Approaching Nervous Breakdown is unlike anything they’ve previously released. They’re added a horn section (!) and a harpist (!!), among other interesting choices. The album lacks any sense of cohesion. The songs tumble after each other with a randomness that can best be described as incongruous to the 10th power. But maybe that’s the point. Maybe that’s what it is like approaching a nervous breakdown.

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Comments
  1. munchow says:

    Fantastic idea, and so well performed! I enjoyed both the covers and the read. You really got you creativity going here, didn’t you. I think my favourite is I Think That People Have by Paradox of Nihilism. Excellent cover!

    Like

  2. Green Milk Banana Grave! (anagram of “venerable anagram king”)

    Like

  3. I love this idea. Maybe I can use it for a book cover, too! My favorite one is Paradox of Nihilism?

    Like

  4. I did a cover, but it never entered my mind to do a “review.” This is great! Love it!

    Like

  5. sparklebumps says:

    I think you got what was supposed to be my album cover when you clicked on “Approaching Nervous Breakdown.”

    Like

  6. joehoover says:

    Great twist to add reviews, the first album cover is quite disturbing, I’d probably love the album

    Like

  7. Excellent reviews, though I haven’t a clue what Manitook Mountain’s music sounds like. I often have that feeling after reading record reviews of bands I’ve never heard of. You definitely have a gift for writing record reviews.

    Like

  8. surroundedbyimbeciles says:

    Great post! Being a Nashville person, this is probably the same method real music biz people use. At least, the quality coming out of here makes it seem that way.

    Like

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