Saturday, March 15, 2008

Ancestors: Neptune With Fire
(North Atlantic Sound)
release: February 19, 2008
style: psychedelic sludge hard rock
similar: Danava, The Gersch, Graveyard
[rating: ?????] One of the best names ever for a band of this nature, Ancestors' two quests here are a journey into a mystical place and time. Neptune is actually a conceptual outing for this L.A. band, about somebody going through a "psychological ordeal of war, celebration, remorse and reveleation". The first track is mainly a jam session of spooky guitar voodoo and some lyrics about the earth and soul or something. Following pipe organ on the second track (21 minutes!) is ultra sludge guitar riffs processed through the atmosphere of another planet. This does go on for a while and becomes repetitive, though of course at the same time tripped out. -Kenyon

Wildbirds & Peacedrums: Heartcore (the Leaf Label)
release: May 6, 2008
style: experimental, minimalism, post-post percussive folk
similar: Joanna Newsom, Sinead O'Connor
[rating: **] This Swedish duo is for a specific audience, its skeleton system consisting of only singer Mariam Wallentin and percussionist Andreas Werliin. That said, Heartcore is more miss than hit, depending on Wallentin's moods. "Bird" is like an impromptu beatnik poetry performance that feels way too pretentious, "The Way Things Go" is something that the educated hipster would feel proud to show off. "I Can't Tell in His Eyes" is the most accessible and pretty, aided by a few twinkling non-percussive sounds and Wallentin's heartfelt words. "The Ones that Should Save Me Get Me Down" recalls vintage blues. Wildbirds & Peacedrums' mission to rebel against what they heard at the Academy of Music and Drama has been accomplished. -Kenyon

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