Wednesday, January 21, 2015
This release brings back those heavy elements from days gone by and shapes them into an even more jagged narrative. Instrumental and bleak in its contour, the heavy amplification slithers its way between symphonic harmony and pulverizing dissonance. Within the suffocating haze, the guitars and bass melt with Sabbath-like precision. The reckless rhythms puncture and wince, allowing just enough breathing room to keep the rock pulsating. The recorded sounds defy gravity and genre with their noisy rewordings of jazz, punk, reggae, and stoner rock.
Originally formed in 1982, the St. Louis, Missouri based band made its debut on SST records in 1987. Legendary producer Bill Laswell lends his vision to their latest maniacal outing. Laswell's unique engineering allows the recording to slam and worm with a warm, nuanced buzz. The pacing is erratic but deploys epic fragments of linear song structure to connect the violent vibrations. The tracks “Earthmover” and “Wheels of Progress” highlight the diabolical capabilities of these reckless noise mongers. “Fub” and “Strung” sneak in some cool Dub and Freeform Space Rock that enable this collection to flow as a movement, instead of “just a bunch of new tunes” the band threw together. From the horrific indie sophistication of “Twenty Four Hour Dawn” to the breezy poison of closing track “Shutdown”, the compositions flow steadily in all of their freaked-out glory. Post-modern weirdness that stays heady and heavy without forgetting about the listener.
Fear and Loathing in Long Beach