Friday, December 19, 2008

Masons / Molten Honey - In the Basement of the Temple / Molten Honey (Stunned Records CS)

Alright, back to it. My apologies for the delay in reviews, but what with school wrapping up and a five day black out in our area, times were too hard to be attending to the ol' bloggie. A few days of rest though, and I'm back at it--hoping to get back to some consistency with it too, despite the incoming holiday mania.

So last I left off I was in the midst of a bunch of new shipments, and I thought I'd get right back to them with this split from Stunned Records. Dividing the bill is Masons, a brother/sister duo of filmmaker Matthew Lessner and his (at the time) 14-year old sister Sophie, and Molten Honey, a moniker of John Frank.

The first side goes to Masons, which I'm guessing is a one off band name considering that the side was made in the basement of some masonic temple--guess that's how come it's called In the Basement of the Temple eh...? Maybe the underground air got to their heads but this is a pretty sour affair, starting with some pounding drums and pierced out guitar licks over the mumbled satanic baritone mutterings of Matthew. Really can't believe his sister's 14 here, as it's a grim affair that is far more aware and weird than anyone I knew when I was 14. Hell, who am I kidding. I don't know anyone this cool at 22... when the drums and lyrics drop out for a second you get some really fried guitar mayhem and punked out glitched nuthouse stuff. Real free form, back to the basics material that's far more radical than anything about 90% of the free primitivist rock guys can muster. Maybe they could do it cause no one was in attendance. Or maybe they just wanted everyone who was there to leave. Every sound here is so fuzzed out and fucked though that it's just cruddy and scuzzed out enough for it to really come together. A killer side.

The flip has John Frank, who apparently does some weirdo psych folk stuff usually, but if this is his standard fair it could hardly be called folk unless your quotient for that is that it has a guitar. Similar basement vibe as the other, except less punked out and driving and more meandery groove that just barely stays together. Sort of No-Neck vibe in its ordered chaos, with weird electronic synth drums, guitar twangies a la Derek Bailey on meth, and just a general weird atmosphere that actually ebbs and flows quite nicely. Second "song" has some flute meandering over some weird break beat action that's just nutso and totally compelling. Snippets of lyrics come in and out but mostly its just lobotomized weirdness here--even somehow congeals into the weirdest dance beats you've never heard at points. Big time air-conditioned vibe on the third cut, whose hollowed out sonics really manage to get in the noggin and squirrel about. You even get the sound of the door to your skull opening. And then the vibes come in and you're just totally left in the dust. Tinkly quasi-melodies, sratched out blurts of sound and synth kookiness all amount to some of the most genuinely weird and out there stuff I've heard in a while. Totally together though.

Really an awesome split, both sides fit right in with one another, presenting two sides of the same equation. Another awesome Stunned tape, more coming soon.

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