Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Slasher Risk - Shoe Mania (Abandon Ship Records CS)

Just in from Foxy Digitalis:

Culled from a forty-five minute show at the first Eye and Ear Festival, this release was recorded on day one and released on day two, though you wouldn’t know it by the fifties housewife cover art or the recording quality herein. One night turn around times have ended far worse.

In the true spirit of the festival, which seems to have taken its name from the free jazz Michael Snow soundtrack “New York Eye and Ear Control,” Slasher Risk lay out some pretty heavy guitar squall here. Opening with a steady beat and some tape of a woman rambling, the beat soon cuts out in favor of raw, ripe riffage. I’m not sure just how many people make up the unit, but it’s evident from the get-go that they require no more—this is an onslaught of psych mania the likes of which is rarely achieved; picture Zac Davis jamming it out with Derek Bailey and Fushitsusha. Or Burnt Hills plus vocals.

When the vocals do seep in, they do so screaming out chants and declarations the content of which is obscured by the thick destruction atop. That the unit manages to carve out any shape at all from this wall of crunch hardly means respite for the unsuspecting, as drums break forth to summon the true pummel potential of the unit. Not many groups can pull of this sort of psych rock monster without losing their way, but Slasher Risk do it with aplomb, slipping in and out of modes whose differences are rendered indecipherable seconds after transition. Yet the changes are there, and eventually they widen into pretty grooving spaces, though these too disintegrate under their own weight.

It’s a ripper of a jam whose effectiveness is best evidenced by the slowly deafened cries of the crowd. And surely they were witness to a pretty swell show, though in this case the distance afforded by recorded media feels much safer, thank you.

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