Thursday, June 5, 2008

Super Minerals - The Piss (DNT Records CS)

Well well, look what we have here. Yet another post, and only three weeks between them! It's true, a hiatus of sorts was taken, but given school finals before transitioning into a job that requires 6:30 wake-ups, it had to be... my apologies though for leaving this thing high and dry for that stretch.

Needless to say, a lot of stuff has piled up. Between numerous orders, No Fun Fest (more on that later, I'm sure), and a generous package courtesy of Tynan over at DNT, the list has grown considerably. Had to start with this one though.

Super Minerals is Phil and William from Magic Lanterns, a Long Beach, California (thanks for the correction Tynan!) psych band that I've heard a bundle about but have yet to acquire anything from. Rumor has it that this isn't even close to that band though, and listening to it that sentiment doesn't surprise me at all. This is hardly psych rock, if even rock. Instead, The Piss opts for the kind of murky meandering often tread by the likes of Sunburned, though this is perhaps a bit slower and grimmer than that band usually gets.

The whole thing starts out with "Viral Cycles," an odd and drifting piece featuring an endlessly delayed acoustic movement beneath some spirit like vocals, one low and one high. The delay is tampered with gently, but mostly this is some stagnant stuff--just the way to kick off an album in my book! Throw the listener right in and get them where you want them. That high vocal is especially haunting, riding above before the whole thing morphs into the second track, "Sativa Dungeon" (though the song seams are more than a little unclear). Still, if this is the track the title hits it on the head. Have you ever seen that video of the guy giving listens about how to garden after smoking sativa? If you haven't, Youtube it. You'll get the idea. This one is grim as fuck, lurching along with static sounding loops--like if you kept playing the first half second of a scream over and over after distorting it beyond recognition. Harmonica pops in at one point, meandering along to this lurch while various unidentifiable frequencies cut in and out.

I'm assuming the next section is "They Said It Couldn't Be Done," though it could just as easily be part two of "Sativa Dungeon," or even part three of "Viral Cycles." Who knows... Here, the duo straightens out the riff, blanketing the static across the sound before an ocarina or Indian flute comes in, acting in much the same manner as that previously mentioned harmonica. Things get especially Sunburned when the vocals start muttering along, deep and echoey in the mix before some weird keyboard line descends over and over like a fog horn on the moon. They sit on this action for a while, zoning out--truly zonked. I guess they're right, it can be done. Eventually the whole thing fades out and is replaced by, again guessing, "Done." This one starts off with, and there's really no other description, the sound of an airplane flying back and forth over your head (mind/skull/inner ear) before those vocals emerge along with some rinky-dink riff that sounds like the Blue's Clues theme played on thumb piano. Slow and steady, the thing evolves, with choir like vocals emerging and reemerging, intermingling with the feedback tangle they've created. It's all like some big gumbo of industrial, drone, and ambient with a decidedly soundtrackish vibe. At a certain point, it gets so quiet and minimal that you practically forget you're listening to it--only a momentary percussive clatter shakes you back to the real world.

Side two kicks off with the percussive line of "Reuptake." And by percussive line I mean the sound of an occasional shaking of a bag of plastic silverware. Weird and hollow drones emerge like a million insects flying at you, building itself into some gigantic cloud of black and hissing before dropping a mother of a chord on you for, I'm guessing, the beginning of "High Spear Trial" (though I see now that track three is called "Descended Swarm of the Undead," so maybe I'm way behind). This one really crushes--it's all feedback and fuzzed out madness, albeit of a rinding and stationary sort. At this point, there being eight songs listed on side two, it's impossible to keep track. These drones thin out eventually, sounding like the space right before you hit a radio station on the dial. Faint recognizable traits emerge, but for the most part it's thick as mud.

Eventually the whole thing starts to gain some tangible mobility, thought he thrust is hardly forward and it certainly isn't getting where it's going fast. Sounds slip in and out, filling the speakers before cutting off and being replaced by near silence, only to have that hollow vocal call to be filled in by deranged chanting and cries for help from deep within some horrible jungle. This must be the sound of desperation, just guitar tinklings and loneliness. The balance between these beautifully full and lush echoes ad the harsh grating of metal on metal make for some kind of weird landscape, full of whistlings and odd wind instruments, yet lacking all of the guiding principles of those items. Sometimes it sounds like it's just the amp fucking up for a bit before some beep reminds you that this is all conscious, or at least some of it is. Part of the excitement of the whole thing is that you can't really tell who's playing who--sometimes it seems like the amps are rocking out with the musicians. Crazy stuff.

Comes in a killer cover with weird fish skeleton drawings. Limited to 75, so snag one quick. More reviews to come soon(er than a month from now).


simulacrumbles said...

thanks for the review! they're from Long Beach, California though, not Florida!


Henry Smith said...

My bad Tynan! I'll correct it right away. And again, thanks for the items, and keep up the good work.