Sunday, February 15, 2009

Graveyards - Can I Take Medications If I Am Straight Edge?/Tales From The Unhealer


Audiobot, CD-R
2007, 192 kbps, 57MB

"This is a two-track (obviously) CD-R culled from a couple of live performances, and has to be the absolute peak of the trio's obsession with slow-paced, vacant, tense, silence-driven sparring sessions to date. At least the first eight minutes of "Can I Take Medications If I Am Straight Edge?" are dedicated to near-nothingless, with Buetow's shrill bowing and Hall's cymbal shaving only occasionally cutting through the hiss of the recording device. Slowly but surely the gears start moving and all three move in step for brief glimmers, relaxing back into their chairs as soon as you think something's about to erupt. They played with this trick a few times when I saw them before giving in to the urge and playing it balls-to-the-wall fire music rampage style, but the payoff never really comes here. Instead they stick to quick sprints throughout the near 25-minutes, weaving tension and release in and out of the other too quickly to ever really feel one emotion over the other. "Tales from the Unhealer" is a sludgier sound and the trio sound more on edge, opting for louder, more rambunctious moves than the previous session allowed. In fact, they spend a good bunch of the minutes here firing on all cyllinders, with only brief pauses to regroup before charging headfirst once again. It's actually two pieces in one, as applause breaks the set up halfway through the 20-minute track and they have another go, with Olson spewing ear-splitting sax noise to Buetow's groans, only to be joined by Hall in a final send-off which sees the three approaching the ecstatic, brash, Last Exit vernacular they sometimes so conscienciously avoid. The impact would've been all the more greater if the quality was better, but what're you gonna do."
- Outer Space Gamelan


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