Masters of the Hemisphere
“Freemdoom is an evil dog,” it is explained in the miniature comic book that accompanies Masters of the Hemisphere’s new record. “Even his fellow Mafia members know that crossing Freemdoom equals a tragic fate. In fact, they had learned this lesson so well that the mob bosses decided to band together to steal his corporate interests, thereby forcing him to leave.” That’s the setup for I Am Not a Freemdoom, which chronicles the events that would pass. It is both an incredibly obtuse and somehow curiously listenable disc, and that’s doubly true for fans of chamber pop, an admittedly acquired taste. Masters of the Hemisphere doesn’t render the style as obscure as others, though, and there’s just as much guitar jangle to the group’s melodies as there is odd instrumentation (which includes tubaphone and stylaphone). Plenty of hummable passages drift in and out of the compositions, but the real reason the disc makes any kind of impression is its goofy subject matter. Having “Freemdoom” as a key word in many of the songs doesn’t exactly help differentiate them from one another. At the tale’s conclusion, I Am Not a Freemdoom ends up being a little bit too quirky solely for quirky’s sake and remains a pleasant distraction at best. It is one, however, that even the dastardly Freemdoom might himself enjoy.