Posted on March 7th, 2011 (1:19 pm) by Clayton Williamson

Back in college, I had a wonderful roommate who owned eight or nine different musical instruments, none of which he knew how to play. After he expressed his desire to start a band with me, he sat before me with a dusty violin in his lap and dragged a rosin-less bow across the ancient strings. Without any sense of rhythm or timing, he pulled the bow back and forth as the violin screeched for its own death. A few painful minutes later, my smiling roommate stopped “playing” and asked what I thought. Four years later, I’ll say to Aidan Baker the same thing I should have told my roommate that night: This isn’t music. This is bullshit.

Lost in the Rat Maze is an hour’s worth of self-indulgent drones, echoes and whispers moving at the speed of a decomposing corpse. Its creator is Aidan Baker, a far too prolific Canadian musician with a discography several pages long, and his latest work makes Sigur Ros look like a speed metal band. The entire album sounds as if Baker walked around his studio, touching and poking instruments while his cat slept on a laptop with GarageBand left open. Baker loves to tap on a cymbal throughout the record too, like he’s a five year old at his big brother’s drum set.

Rat Maze is so far removed from actual music I’m tempted to wonder if it’s a Dadaist-inspired museum piece. I’m sure some pretentious asshole will say, “Oh man, Rat Maze is so experimental and mind blowing.” No, this album is fucking stupid and the world isn’t a better place for hearing it. I can’t tell you how many times I wanted the supermassive guitar riff from Michael Jackson’s “Black or White” to rip “Fanciful Flights” or “Cut Stars” to microscopic shreds. God, when I was younger I would dance the shit out of that song no matter where I was. Maybe that was why sixth grade was such a living hell.

Oh, I’m sorry. I’d rather think about getting beat up in 1st period Spanish than this absolute waste of time.

During my first experience with Lost in the Rat Maze, it made me so angry I started laughing as I questioned my existence in morning rush hour traffic. Perhaps Baker constructed this album as a communal scapegoat for victims of social isolation or the failings of capitalism, but I won’t dare give him such credit. If you mistake Lost in a Rat Maze for your air conditioning, you’re not the first.

Track List:

1. Prelude
2. Lost in the Rat Maze
3. Fanciful Flights
4. I Can’t Stand
5. Cut Stars
6. Breakbeat
7. Corridors of Funk
8. Feathery Fingers

aidan baker
Purchase at: Amazon | eMusic

Our Rating

9 / 100
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