There are plenty of diversions along the way, including an encounter with a voice that might come from some crazed waterfowl during an ill-advised experiment with a dusty fly agaric specimen on "Splendid Goose." Similarly bizarre is the troll from "She Vang Moon," which sounds none too pleased to have been awakened before getting quasi-mystical with the addition of drones, chants, and pleading drums. "Larslovesnick Farm" is an odd destination where metallic mallets arc overhead until dissolving with a pop, only to be replaced by a squeaky plastic smooch that in turn gives way to snippets of piano melody and a few mooing cows.
The group keeps me mesmerized with hymns of blissful repetition, like "The Sting of Haste." "Before We Came to This Religion" slows the pace but continues the mood by adding lyrics to nervous rattling and tribal whimsy. A certain schoolboy naïveté creeps up on a couple of tracks, particularly in "Burnt Seer," a warped take on rustic folk in which the group sings, "I'm not singing any better/But I'll sing better/And I'll sing better" as if apologizing to a teacher or a parent for falling short of expectations. This feeling of childlike lamentation comes up again on "The Three Twins" as the group brings the album to a majestic climax as if in contrition for some misdeed.
Different styles of music, the juxtaposition of disparate sounds, and the narrative quality of many tracks keep the mood and ideas constantly shifting. Although their intentions are sometimes esoteric, Volcano the Bear convincingly evoke both the exotic and the eerily familiar with the sounds coming from their strange part of the woods.