Holy fuck this collab is immeeeense, Silkworm vet Joel Phelps and G. Stuart Dahlquist formerly from Sunn O))) and now Asva got together and made something way more than that math has any right to add up to, Phelps’ vocals that sound so much better with Asva style gloom than any of Asva’s previous collabs and any of Phelps’ previous stuff, including Silkworm, so yeah I’m saying this is maybe the best work either guys have been involved in (well not including Sunn O))) because come on), this is a droning brooding hulk of avant doomed orchestral majesty, the darkness offering an easy passage to the other side, soft, smooth, and easy to swallow, but still heavy and fuckin weird, the organs sounding like a dungeon’s lobby music, guitars, drums, pianos, and everything else within reach aching & bellowing from the deep, crazy samples of thunder cracks and cheering children, resonant, moaning vocals floating out from misty crypts and hallowed cathedrals, at once beautiful, powerful, & super emotional, then it ventures into catchy indie pop territory with steel drums and shit that manages to come off as anything but cheesy, an inexplicably enjoyable record that is seriously fucking bizarre in the best possible way, eerie and dark as fuck but something you could probably toss on while the normal friends visit and you wouldn’t get too many weird looks, I honestly have no idea how this record got made or what went through their minds when making it, this is the most original music I’ve heard in a long fucking time, and I’ll be pretty much devastated if these dudes don’t put out any more records together.
Special stuff right here. On Jones Beach is the debut release of Glacial, the power trio made up of Lee Ranaldo, David Watson, and Tony Buck. A singular 48 minute journey into worlds unknown, occupying a headspace you didn’t know existed. The first movement is a spectacular brooding drone, minimal feedback & electronics that slowly caffeinates itself into a gritty dirtbag of swirling ambience that’s ominous and climactic. It seamlessly brings in some percussion and before you know it, you’re in a full on psych jam with a heavy groove and a bagpipes solo. But then you figure out the climax of the drone was only epic on its own terms, not in relation to the whole thing. On Jones Beach gets so crazy, post-punk atonal guitar shredding, screeching feedback, bagpipe drone noodling, electronic nastiness, and a drum beat bleeding perfection to tie it all together, grounding it in some fake-reality where this whack shit makes sense and it’s 100% acceptable to have a noise/drone record that rocks this fucking hard. Seriously though, these goddamn bagpipes are the most unexpected thing and get me maybe a bit too excited. I love those fucking reeds and they just give this record an extra dose of awesome. I can’t believe it took so long for the three of these guys to put out a record because this is such stunning work, it’s like they’ve been rolling together for decades and have already amassed a masterful discography. Big ups to Three Lobed for giving this the swanky vinyl treatment and making sure the one heavenly piece didn’t get butchered when split for two sides. Plus, you get an uncut digital version with the LP, as well as three shorter live tracks that make this thing a fucking steal.
I’m writing about We’re Fucked because it’s not normally the kind of thing I write about AND it’s not the usual Important fare. Rivulets is usually Nathan Amundson’s solo project but on this one he’s expanded to a three piece (drums and another guitar, maybe?). This is some somber stuff, with songs about how Amundson is angry, or in love, or both, or something else, I’m not entirely sure as lyrics have never been my forté. That’s the feeling I get from this, though. Way dark and almost definitely not happy. Mostly a quiet, intimate sound, just Amundson singing in his earthy falsetto with his guitar, acoustic or electric depending on his mood, both sparse and rich, occasionally building to loud foot stomping, chest thumping moments of emotional fury. It’s truly amazing stuff that seemed to be ignored by the circles I find myself in, perhaps just because it’s got more traditional sounding song structures and stuff? Fuck that. We’re Fucked deserves your attention, regardless of where you think your musical interests lie.
HotKid sound like a combo of two of my favorite defunct bands, DFA79 & Sleater-Kinney, so clearly they fucking ROCK. The video for “Yours & Mine” is a crazy spazz dance off with a bazillion cuts & epileptic neon lightning, people of young & old showing off their best moves. It’s damn near impossible to not instantly jump up on your seat and party hard as soon as it kicks in. Plus, they’re Canadian.