Reviews 05/30/09

In Reviews on May 31, 2009 at 2:42 am

The air conditioner is busted! Time for some sticky tape action!

 

Hanging Coffins

 

Hanging Coffins – The Black Plague in Mono, No. 2 (Jerkwave)

 

This slab of blown out garage rock was my first experience with Hanging Coffins. Both sides are packed with nice, thick bass lines, booming drums, distorted keyboard, and barely-audible vocals. Even though the recordings are incredibly low fidelity, the energy of trashy tracks like “Karkadann Thirst” and “Electric Antler” come through loud and clear. However, even with all of the raw punk enegry contained within, it’s the epic, dirge-like “Pablo’s Last Vision Quest” that cements this tape’s greatness.

 

Radiant Husk

 

Radiant Husk – Beyond an Endless Swale (Bezoar Formations)

 

Side A tosses the listener into an uneasy sea of sound with waves of howling feedback and piles of wobbly drones. Eventually a loping, repeated saxophone part settles things down enough that another saxophone and what sounds like an accordion are able to spiral out of the swirling atmosphere. The B side is more calm, with delayed saxophone causing gentle ripples in the underlying bass drone. There are some spectacular moments here, especially a segment where a pair of overlapping saxophones splash around in a pool of reverb. The jams on Beyond an Endless Swale are really deep but never get complacent or become static. 

 

Tropa Macaca

 

Tropa Macaca – Peça Má (Silver Ghosts)

 

This fantastic live set from Tropa Macaca starts with a steady bass pulse that is slowly garbled and overtaken by shifty squiggles. The side covers a lot of terrain, undulating between frenetic peaks, chopped up drones, and gentle, drifting sections with an ease that is uncommon in a live setting. By the second side, things have reached a climax: though working with the same sounds, the piece locks together, builds, explodes into audio shrapnel, and comes in for a smooth landing. Overall, this tape is a really rewarding listen and a great document of Tropa Macaca’s skill in a live setting.

 

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