Sometimes, you just have to pick a release at random, press play and see where it takes you. This was how I found Girlpool. Checking over releases for the month, I decided to give this a listen because it's on Bandcamp (which makes it so much easier) and from the first song I was hooked. Though, after hearing the first song I don't feel like I really knew what I was getting into until it was already too late. Girlpool create songs which could be accessible to everyone in some ways but "What Chaos Is Imaginary" is not for those who live in the world of disposable music.
If you're looking for something fun to listen to a few times and then delete from your iTunes, keep looking. If you're looking for something fun but are also willing to put in the effort which comes with listening to music then this could be right for you. Sometimes I listen to an album and it's maybe 40 minutes, 50 minutes, but it goes by like the blink of an eye. You ever have those? You press play at 10:00 and when it's over you go "Oh shit it's 11 already"? "What Chaos Is imaginary" isn't longer than most albums, it just feels like it. Some might think this is a bad thing, but I think it's because you're just meant to feel every part of it.
These songs are dreamy, full of distortion and fall somewhere between that Buddy Holly era of 1960's rock n roll and Nada Surf. They can also bring about thoughts of Flaming Lips, but ultimately I feel like this album has at least four different faces and it's up to the listener to recognize where one face ends and the next one begins. Slow harmonies come through a lot of static as this sounds like The Benjamins. There are drum machines which make it feel like bedroom pop and then a song like "Hire" is a much cleaner version of rock. By "Chemical Freeze" you will feel a sense of darkness.
"All Blacked Out" has more of a desert ballad feel to it while "Minute In Your Mind" is just darkwave. Dark keys open up the titular track at the 10 spot and even though it comes into the album so late I feel like it could be one of the best representations of this album on the whole, as any titular song should be really. "Hoax and the Shrine" is an acoustic notes ballad and as we get to the end of the album, the last five or so songs, it just takes on this slow fade that you can feel like it is ending and, yes, this is one of the faces.
With the different sounds you can find within these songs it's not easy to say "If you're a fan of ____ you'll like this one" and that even goes with putting this into a genre. The way the songs shift back and forth with how they are constructed and delivered along with just feeling like torture- so precise- just make the album something you really must commit yourself to listening to. I don't mean that this is torture in a bad way either- let me be perfectly clear about that- it's just that some albms seem to go straight for the kill while Girlpool seems to prefer to take their time. It's methodical and there is, sadly, no better comparison I can make but listening to "What Chaos Is Imaginary" is nothing but pure pleasure.