Cleared – Remote Ocean Prayer (Immune)
Cleared is drummer Steven Hess (Locrian, Pan-American, etc) and multi-media artist Michael Vallera (aka COIN) and with only a few killer releases under their belt, Drown is looking to be their breakout record. So while this is essentially a guitar/drum duo, these dudes take that trope to a whole new level, making an almost-but-not-quite-metal noise/drone record that’s bookended with two amazing tracks that go way out into dream pop & shoegaze territory, something that walks the line between dark & heavy and light & drifty, with tons of feedback drone, static skitter, dark ambient shadows, cosmic expansion, shimmery guitars, and hypnotic percussion, it’s really just the fucking best, an absolutely stellar weird droney poppy record that’s hitting all the right spots for me right now, I honestly can’t get enough of this. Brought to you by the strangely underrated Immune, a seven year old slow burning label that’s doing everything right.
Liturgy: huge transcendental black metal which nobody seemed to give a shit about, Royale only at about quarter capacity when Liturgy went on, only played a half hour set which would have been pretty lame, but it was ok because they didn’t actually sound all that great, the lead guitar & drums were all you could hear, drowning out the second guitar, bass, and vocals, literally couldn’t hear any vocals unless it was one of those solo vocal loop songs, and the second guitar was almost non-existent, theories: a) I was standing in front of the lead guitar amp so it was my own damn fault, b) the sound guy did a super shitty job, c) the lead Liturgy guy came down with a case of the big egos… at least the drummer was a fuckin BEAST
Asobi Seksu: never sounded better, they were loud as hell, more metal than pop, falling right in line with Liturgy & Boris, covered JAMC’s “Never Understand” and Yuki jumped into a mostly bland audience but it was still super fucking awesome, lots of Citrus love which was great for a Citrus lover such as myself, finished with one of the more epic songs on Citrus (can’t remember which one) and then Boris’ drummer Atsuo came out to fuck shit up on his set while Yuki took on Tony’s drums and Tony messed around with James’ pedals while James destroyed his guitar, so so cool
Boris: LOUD doomgaze psych metal awesomeness, lots of newer material but the good stuff, crowd was way into ’em, obviously, sadly only did a couple of the slow doomed shit, still great, ended with “Pink” and an epically long “Aileron,” expectedly bangedover this morning