29 July 2010

REVIEW | RALE/3HEADED MONSTER - SPLIT

The One True Dead Angel

I picked up this 24-minute tape at a recent noise show at Trailer Space Records and that's about all I know on the subject; I'm not even sure which of these two bands I actually witnessed. Rale (aka solo dude Bill Hutson) opens the first side with one long track bearing the brilliant title "Someday A Gentle God Will Grant Me Ignorance" (a title Harvey Milk wishes they had thought of first, I'm sure), a floating and vibrating slice of minimalist drone / hum that burbles along in gentle, soothing fashion without ever really going anywhere. But "going somewhere" isn't the point; this is the kind of sound designed to let you zone out, and zone out you will, believe me. The sound is sort of vaguely reminiscent of early Organum; there is some variation in the sound, especially toward the end, when the floating hum gradually evolves into a gritty kind of sandpaper noise, but otherwise it's all subtle and highly enigmatic. On the flip side, 3 Headed Monster (featuring William VanGorder, of Other People's Children and Weak Sisters) lays down four tracks of screeching, hellish feedback and white noise that frequently sounds like the heavily distorted sound of someone screaming in a sonic whiteout. Actually, after the initial burst of violence, subsequent tracks are more about variations on harsh noise than exercises in pinning your ears back; on each new track VanGorder takes a different route to sonic punishment. Just when you think he's gone soft, though, he brings back the howling and screeching, significantly upping the intimidation factor at choice intervals. The decision to pair two wildly different artists on one cassette turns out to be a good one -- there's plenty of prime drone / noise meat here. Limited to 102 copies.

THE ONE TRUE DEAD ANGEL

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