Monday, October 31, 2011

'Between Worlds' review on Aquarius Records

This killer write-up of the Sagas LP showed up on Aquarius Records last week. Obviously I'm biased, but I feel this one really hit the nail on the head.

"This was another one of those records that just showed up one day, and knocked us on our asses. And while all the descriptors pointed to something that would be right up our alley, spacey and psychedelic, krautrocky and kosmische, heavy and hazy, which all do definitely apply, the music manages to embody all those adjectives, while tangling them up into something all its own.

This one man band opens up the proceedings with some droned out psychedelic synths, sounding like Amps For Christ or Daniel Higgs, the sounds undulating and spiraling into little tangled melodic squalls, there are bells, and a deep crooned almost chantlike vocal, very hypnotic and almost new agey, those droning synths (or are they effected guitars?), get more and more wild as the song proceeds, a wild woolly freakout over that deep sonorous drone. Great stuff, and we would have been perfectly happy had the whole record sounded like that, but instead, the second song starts off all low slung slither and wah guitar, it's got 'boogie' in the title, and it shows, sort of. Loose and ramshackle, the guitars again blossom into soaring streaks of high end skree, the drums pound and stumble, the vocals wreathed in reverb, the sound insanely dubbed out, everything swallowed up in echo and send swirling into the ether before landing again and reengaging with the in-progress kraut-dub space rock freakout. This is the sort of shit Burnt Hills would conjure up if they wrote songs instead of endless jams, infusing sort-of-proper song structures with all the elements of an unhinged drug addled jam, and the results are pretty wild.

The rest of the record though is all over the place, feet firmly planted in psychedelia, and Appalachia, but exploring pretty much every disparate strain, from clattery, foresty free folk, sounding almost like No Neck Blues Band or Avarus, to back porch bluegrass Fahey-y style American primitivism, from strummy, synthy, noise drenched darkdrone balladry (maybe our favorite track, sounding like a muted Merzbow / Portishead slowburn mashup woven into some Appalachian psychedelic creep), to blown out, in-the-red, Japanese psych style White Heaven / Les Rallizes / Fushitsusha grinding guitar freakout, finally finishing off with another bout of melancholic minor key Appalachia.

Killer stuff, most definitely recommended for fans of modern psych, neo-Appalachia, psychedelic dronemusic and the weirder side of space/psych/drone rock."

In other news, BR10-12 are sold out from us, but 10 & 11 will be available soon from Discriminate and are also available locally in Portland at Exiled Records along with a few other goodies.