Saturday, May 3, 2008

Demons w/ Zac Davis - For Joy Rd (Maim & Disfigure CD-R)

Here's another one from that show that happened too long ago for me to still be writing about it. Hey, at least we've moved on to a different label, right? Ok, it's getting too drawn out, I know. It's almost over though, I promise.

This one is from Zac Davis' Maim & Disfigure label, a crude as fuck operation featuring unlabeled CD-Rs in paste on xerox covers. Sure, it looks half-assed, but truth be told this is really Zac's whole aesthetic approach. Lambsbread couldn't be a scummier sound, and really the guy seems all about rough and raw stoned out shit. As mentioned before (I think, it was so long ago really...) the only prop on the stage when Davis hit the amps was a hand held bong. Pretty much sums up the whole approach, I think.

I picked up a few things from Zac this go around, opting out on the Lambsbread material in hope for some different approaches. This one was a sure snag in my book. It was the last copy he had left of this Demons collab, Demons being the killer analog synth duo of Steve Kenney and Nate Young. Come to think of it, this means I've managed to review all three Wolf Eyes guys without touching on that group's material once. Not a bad accomplishment, I dare say. The album is four tracks, though the first three might actually just be the same performance cut up, and this is some scuzzy shit, all dirty, raw energy. Davis' guitar really does slay--whereas he resisted on that Graveyards release he played on, he really throws it down on this, ripping his guitar to shreds like Arto Lindsay on, well, dope. Meanwhile, Demons are synthing away in the background, creating some kind of Lake Michigan cesspool for Davis to skim his way over.

The whole thing is clearly Zac's show until about minute fifteen. At this point he backs off a bit and lets Demons show their stuff, highlighting their spaced out noise approach with feedback and grating, string-tearing shards of glass. Sometimes he gets his axe to sound like a sax, warm and mellow before gurgling back with a few pounds of ugly. It's these moments that really made the whole thing for me on this one. Weird spacious bubbling atmospheres--swamp music. You can see the green slime sputtering and hear the acid eating away at the bottom of your wooden vessel. Really nice stuff that highlights just how musically sensitive one can be to musical insensitivity. Ghostly stuff when it comes together.

The grating returns shortly though, and from there out it's back to the all out brawl, like a battle of the bands between two groups playing at the same time, in the same basement, through the same amps. Demons' slower approach does manage to tie Zac down a bit, but Zac's smart enough to let the contrast between his playing and theirs be the tension, tearing it all down as the synths just sit there and stutter along. It's like Zac's the rabbit and Demons are the hare, only before the jog they did some bong rips and listened to LAFMS together. It's a friendlier race for it.

After the first three tracks, the album's pretty much over. But I really have to mention the fourth "track." I told you this stuff was crude, but dig this. Whoever was recording this whole thing must have literally put the recorder next to some shitty radio station playing some lame-o T.I. or 50 Cent cut and just let the whole thing happen. Half way through, the guy actually moves it closer so we can hear it even better. Needless to say, it's as unexpected an end as one could hope for. Strangely effective at helping the come-down though... and just plain strange.

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