Play One Note

Psychedelic music blog covering psychedelic, folk, drone, metal, and all other forms of out music.

Posts tagged with ‘austin psych’

The New Mummies – K-l-a-n-g-!

February 13, 2012

K-l-a-n-g-!new mummies klang, a new record by Austin-based, Rochester transplants the New Mummies, is sequenced like a nocturnal diver’s upward drift through black water towards air, beginning in murk and ending in (relative) clarity.  The album begins with three noisy drones—”Bridges Out,” “The Servants Call,” and “Delayed Response”—that progress from deeply abstracted tracks that approach musique concrete into a humid, delay-drenched menace reminiscent of Zelienople’s more diffused moments.  There’s more activity in these drones than you’d expect, given that genre signifier.  Rather than constructing pieces built around glacial progression, the New Mummies opt for more rapid crescendos.  Sounds identifiable and otherwise—disembodied chants, burbling tones, guitar arpeggios released on slow, careening trajectories—churn through the mix.

Elsewhere, as on “Caught in the Underfield,” songs (more or less) coalesce out of a swampy haze, during which the New Mummies channel No Wave-primitivism through a particularly bleak form of outsider folk to create a sort of desolate dark pop.  These songs, with the exception of the anthemic closer “Campaign for Wellness,” feel lucid only in relation to the trio of drones that open K-l-a-n-g-!.  Indeed, the New Mummies take every opportunity to tear these songs apart, plunging them in cascading reverb, ripping out the low end, tightly wrapping vocals in rapidly decaying delay, and subjecting them to the microphone-on-the-other-side-of-the-room lo-fi recording methods of early Magik Markers.  The result is a series of particularly emotionally direct songs made moreso by their obvious fragility, their precarious cobbling-together.

Given multiple, divergent threads of influence, it would be easy for the New Mummies to try to do to much here.  But  like Sparklehorse’s classic Good Morning Spider*, K-l-a-n-g-!‘s willfully de(con)structive production methods serve as a crucial binding agent, providing the common thread that runs through these quietly unsettling drones and dirges.

Enjoy it on their Bandcamp.

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* Which, despite sounding absolutely nothing like K-l-a-n-g-!, is a surprisingly handy signifier for it, being an album similar in fractured lonesomeness and fractured construction.

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Storm Shelter

January 9, 2012

storm shelter ep austin band

Leave it to me to find a new gem, spawned from my hometown, by reading a Poland-based psychedelic blog.*  The release in question is Austin-based quartet Storm Shelter’s self-titled EP.

On her website, Storm Shelter drummer Michelle Devereux labels her group an “apocalypse inspired chick band.”  The “chick band” part is true enough: Four women grace the release’s cover—but the apocalypse-inspiration part is no feint either.  This EP is entirely unapologetic in its worship of low tom beats and basic blues-scale guitar ambling, the perfect soundtrack to a post-urban witch’s coven.

Storm Shelter plods menacingly through these three tracks, purposeful tempos doing absolutely nothing to disguise this release’s shamanistic aggression.  Drumming is more spirited than precise, and unnecessary nonsense like “chord progressions” are unceremoniously shunted aside.  What we’re left with is some seriously bare-bones Road Warrior incantations, airs and dirges for post-civilizational shindigs and sacrifices.  Yes, Storm Shelter is positively elemental in its construction, and there is an undeniably elemental joy in listening to these perfectly primitive stoner pop jams.  You try listening to the swampy, grimy churn of “Stoneatopia”† without getting all fist-pumpy.  You shall fail.

That’s all I got.  I’m mighty proud to live in the same town as these supremely talented ladies, and I earnestly hope to be able to catch them live one day soon.  Until then, I’ll be smearing soot on my face, gorging on grilled flesh, and jamming out to the deliciously tribal Storm Shelter EP, which you can stream on the band’s site.  It’s getting gross over here, people.  Come revel with me.

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*That just ain’t right, gawdammit!

†Surely the national anthem for the baddest land around.

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