Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Century Plants - Sound System Sound (Tape Drift CD-R)

Century Plants are Eric Hardiman and Ray Hare, two axe-slinging skull soothers who you might know from Albany muckrackers Burnt Hills (a review of whom will shortly come). Whereas that group obliterates mental towers though, Century Plants sees the duo pairing down to guitar and effect methods, where they engage and converse in some of the most stunning nothingness I've heard in quite some time.

Of course, again, the album I'm reviewing is not their latest--they have a release out on the estimable Peasant Magik label which I hear is ridiculously great--but Sound System Sound is an album that has not received quite the attention that it deserved. Which may partly be due to its fifty copy release, but either way. Let's move on to the music.

The album is made of two membrane monster tracks, "Glue" and "Glass." Each make for approximately thirty minutes of mayhem, grinding, slurring, and grating their weapons of choice towards some sort of strange meeting point just over the border of insanity. "Glue" is the less noisy track, though upon throwing on the album you certainly would have to come to terms with what I'm saying, and may even question my reviewing capabilities, but yes. It is the less noisy of the two. It creeps slowly in at first, oozing and sputtering warm electric currents out of some Neptune volcano before it heads into the dark, eyes closed and arms out. Only problem is then you can't see what's lurking out there, and there are things out to get you on this alien planet, god damn it. So yeah, it basically twists and turns into some lurching metallic cockroach, and you're running, and all that green goo is getting on you and, oh shit! Why did you come to this planet anyway?! The soundtrack's killer, that's why.

"Glass," as previously stated, is much more heavy and dense, lurching as spikes and shards of, well, "glass" emerge from within. To me, the weaker track, but equally powerful and mind-bending. The interaction between these two really is spot on, weaving in and out of the deepest, darkest, and most beautiful caverns, not dissimilar from those grounds once tread upon by the likes of Fripp and Eno, though certainly with a bit more expansive of a sonic pallet.

One heavy package, and believe it or not I think this was only the second time these guys played together. Keep an eye out, even more stuff is on the way I hear. Who knows, Tape Drift might even have a few copies left kicking around...

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