Saturday, November 29, 2008
Stone Baby / Entente Cordiale - Our Lungs are Bleeding, but We Keep Breathing (Carbon Records 2X3" CD-R)
Rochester's Carbon Records have been dropping weirdness from the north for a while now, and this double 3" is a killer format for showing off two like-minded wranglers of mind-fuckery in a concise and effective format.
Stone Baby is a group that, I believe, includes Cory Card, though I'm not sure of or if there are any other members. The "Silicosis Suite" presented here in three parts, maintains the spooky, sterile vibes that both the track and the band name conjure. For those who don't know, a stone baby is the name given to some crazy process whereby a baby gets lodged in the wrong spot of a woman's body and essentially calcifies so as not to cause infection. Sometimes these things aren't found for forty years, which is definitely the kind of grueling, creepy, body invading spinal discomfort that Stone Baby bring to mind here. Really crisp metallic expanses here, with radio babble and guitar tinklings riding atop some deeply buried brain dead mumbles. Eventually the darkness overwhelms and you enter the howling monstrosity of the second movement, which manages to be as dense while still maintaining a kind of oxygenated undertow. The last movement culls more scraping metal with warped vocal bellows while guitar and endless echo trail along in gloomy desolation. Not exactly a finger snapper, which means a pretty complete realization of its own aesthetic.
Entente Cordiale is another mystery group who lead down a similar path as Stone Baby does. A trio consisting of (if I'm reading it right...) Chris Reeg, Will Veeder and Joe Tunis, it sounds like a three guitar attack going on, though the restraint would suggest otherwise. Patiently ringing melodic fragments and textural billows, about forty percent of the sound they wrangle is each others feedback meshing and melting inward. Despite the apparent chilliness of the disposition on "96/89," there is actually quite a lot of warmth in these subtle interactions. Sudden changes are few, but they build themselves a sort of tactile sound world to bathe about in. Sometimes it gets bleaker, sometimes more muddied, and sometimes it is quite harsh, but the overall approach is one that favors interaction and listening to mental degeneration via guitar splaying. Even so, some pretty fucked levels of weird are apparent.
Weird little package in one of those Michael's arts and crafts boxes with packaging fuzz and a nice pro-printed card. The twine (not pictured) really seals the deal on a wild split.