The Ambiguities dance out the end of days on latest EP
Everything Rhymes With The End Times
Release date: 12/21/12
Over a month has passed since the expiration of the Mayan calendar was supposed to signal our imminent demise. And while fortunately that particular event never came to pass, such a close brush with Armageddon seems to have had quite an impact on Greenfield singer and songwriter Daniel Hales.
On the latest release by his side-project The Ambiguities, Hales stares down the apocalypse with five songs that are tailor-made to greet the end times with a full dance-floor. In fact, the record’s title cut is a nearly nine-minute soundtrack that’s perfect for staring into the void and features slide guitar, electronic flourishes, and a trance-inducing groove. “If songs could be monuments, this one is a shrine / to the beginning of the ending of the end times,” Hales sings. And as the verses begin to pile up on each other, one gets the impression that the part-time poet isn’t boasting. His song really could be a testament to the ultimate game over moment. But instead of inducing panic, the track would work better as an opiate that plasters angelic smiles on the faces of listeners who are on the way to meet their maker.
Elsewhere, “El Saguaro” acts as a short breather for Hales, who hands over the entirely Hebrew-sung vocals to the mysterious singer Du Mashmai. Though it’s the EP’s shortest track, the number earns its charm from Mashmai’s seemingly chanteuse-like spoken delivery and the eastern flavor of the accompanying music.
As the disc’s opening track, “Moral Majority” is somehow able to name-check Dean Moriarty, Che Guevera and James Dean without sounding strained while doing so. The number even gets a second spin via an extended dance mix that plays later on the record, which gives fans twice as many opportunities to get the infectious chorus stuck in their noggins.
Watch the official video for “Moral Majority” by The Ambiguities here:
But lastly it is the song “One Hand Clapping” that perhaps holds the strongest message. “Dance to the sound of one,” goes the mantra-like lyrics. “Dance to the sound of one / till it sounds like this...”
At times these simple lines are greeted by silence, by laughter, and even by what sounds like a heartbeat. So what’s the point? According to this writer, the point is to keep dancing. Let your feet dissect the meaning of such a Zen koan title, and tap out the beat that’s moving inside your soul. That wouldn’t be a bad way to spend your last day on Earth now would it? Just dancing, losing yourself in ecstasy?
Maybe that’s not what Hales meant when he wrote the song, but I choose to believe otherwise. He just gave us the playlist for doomsday. It’s up to us what we use it for.