Thursday, December 04, 2008

SMOKING MENTHOLS AND EATIN' KOBE BEEF NEVER TASTED SO GOOD -- AN AFTERNOON MEDITATION ON PUSSYGUTT AND STORY OF RATS Despite my undying love for the Virgin Prunes and the sporadic donning of black eyeliner before I head down to the local Key Foods, I'm not that 'dark' of a guy. Although I'm obviously down with the drone, Sunn and all their followers never made sense to me. It just seemed they took a great sound and dumbed it down for metalers and other mouth breathing types by adding alotta horseshit to it. Whenever I see a black record cover with silver ink, I usually fall asleep by the time I have a chance to laugh at the band name and/or record title. Hey...whatever floats your rod in the water and puts asses in the seats, I guess.

When and if I do throw some sounds on in this bunker these days, it's usually something I'm familiar with and/or something that doesn't require too much listener/sound participation. Alittle A.F. when the tub needs a hard scrub, some Dusty when some wine is being sipped and spilled, etc. New vibrations don't get too much spin time 'round here, but once in awhile someone will slip me something they think I'd like and I throw it on and by god, they're right to think I'd dig it. Such is the case with this double LP entitled 'Sea of Sand', a collaborative effort between Boise, Idahos' Pussygutt and Seattles' Story of Rats. I was firstly taken with how beautiful the package was. A jet black gatefold with paste-on artwork that must of been glued on by the most OCD person in the universe; totally immaculate. The sounds that take up both these slabs are certainly heavier than a two ton turd, but it's an effortless vibration that seems to just naturally permeate from the sound. The first record in the set sounds like it was one continuous jam spread out between the sides. For most of it, the amps humm and purr as if they themselves (not the humans in the room) are actually waiting for the riffs and drums to kick in. When they do show themselves, they're perfectly brief and direct and burrow back into the clouds of roar to await their next outing. Since I didn't look at the clock once while both of these sides heaved mighty grey smoke from their surfaces, I'm supposing this record must be good.

An actual violin played like it actually should be played opens Side C while field recordings of dry leaves crunch off in the distance. Somewhere down the line (Once again, I lost track of time) strings ring open and randomly hang/float, making me think more of the Dead C. than former members of False Liberty in bathrobes. Side D is heavy, slow and minimal but in a pretty engaging way. It might be that my ears are tuned differently, but when I hear this slow sludgy thing done right, I envision the songs that closed out both Infest 7"s going on forever like I wished them to all those years ago. Somewhere in all the strumming and clanging, in comes the ringing of bells and the quacking of ducks in the far distance and the record is over.

It's been awhile since I've actually got lost in a record; let alone a double set. These people have actually put together a record that's an experience; something you can't just make the bed and sweep the floor to. Put it on, sit down and take it in, chief.

P.S. -- Do not handle this cover after the eating of greasy foods. You'll just ruin it.

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