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Indie Rock Game-Changers: Neutral Milk Hotel

Updated: Feb 28, 2021

Not only is Neutral Milk Hotel Aubrey Plaza's favorite band in "Parks & Rec", but it's one of ours as well. "In The Aeroplane Over The Sea", released in February of 1998, has stood the test of time, cementing itself as one of the must-hear beacons of the late 90's indie rock revolution. Jeff Magnum, the powerhouse of the band, created something magical which has drawn endless speculation over the years as to what exactly the meaning is of the record itself. A blend of nostalgia, coming-of-age, dark realities and dreamlike, haunting montages blend together into something that could be a teenager's traumatic story, or simply a twisted, fantastical dreamscape - all inspired by Magnum's love of "The Diary of Anne Frank".

The album fluctuates between fast, almost punk-like tracks - "Holland, 1945" is an excellent example - and slower paced, acoustic, raw dramatic pieces, such as "Oh, Comely" or "Two-Headed Boy". Often macabre and difficult subject matter, the album is decorated with wildly inventive musicianship. Neutral Milk Hotel utilizes instruments and sounds never expected. Musical saws, trombones, organ...woven together with heavy acoustic guitar, no-holds-barred drumming and bizarre recording techniques to create layered, distinct soundscapes. The marching band on the back cover encapsulates the absolutely wild sounds and oscillations living in the grooves. Honestly - there is no other album quite like it.

If you're looking for something melodic, tragically beautiful, evocative and acoustically complex, this album might be the diamond in the rough you've been seeking. And, as always, we have it for you here at Fat Cat Records. Happy listening :)

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