Egoist is a solo project from the multi talented Stanislaw ‘Stan’ Wolonciej hailing from Poland, and Ultra-Selfish Revolution is actually his second album, although the first one, DeAD eGG (2005), was never released. He has been musically active since he started taking piano lessons at the age of eight, and as a 12-year-old he suddenly found himself playing drums in his brother ‘punk-metal-shit-rock’ band. A keen interest in music has led him to explore a great variety of musical instruments and styles of music, and the Egoist releases were written, performed and recorded all by himself. Hence the name, I suppose.
My first impression of Ultra-Selfish Revolution was that this was simply noise, and after a couple of spins I simply found all aspects of it annoying. In a word: chaotic. It was like trying to find a radio station but mostly hearing the insect hiss of static interspersed with snippets of music. Musically it is a mixture of aggressive guitars and angry vocals, layers of sounds (electronically and instrumentally created) and quiet passages with clean singing and atmospheric melodies. Strapping Young Lad meets Porcupine Tree. Sort of …
Because although it is obvious that Stan knows his way around a studio and really can play guitar, bass and drums rather well, the basic premise of the project also seems to be its greatest weakness, that is, doing an album all by oneself means that you can throw whatever you like into the melting pot, because there’s no one there to argue with you – no second opinion. There are plenty of ideas and interesting compositions scattered about these eight tracks, but it’s just too much. Some might call it challenging – I’d call it chaotic and confusing.
I believe that Mr Wolonciej would fare much better in the company of other musicians, because he most certainly is a gifted musician. Tracks like ‘On’ and ‘Near A Warm Fireplace’ are good examples of how he creates interesting compositions that change from the aggressive to the somber, but in the end I can’t help feeling relieved every time I reach the end of the album.