Friday, January 17, 2014

PC Worship on Sophomore Lounge Records

Perfect end to the week. I've been meaning to get a single from PC Worship for a long time, it seems like they're playing in NY weekly at Death by Audio or 285 Kent (RIP) with all kinds of different bands. I first came across them on a split from Shdwply Records with the Super Vacations which put them in the company of Gary War, Dead Gaze and Sore Eros but they didn't seem to stick to as specific of a sound as as those guys but instead were exploring the entire spectrum of psych from the super damaged heavy jams to something like this A-Side "Preach under Cooked": solo fingerpicking shape shifting guitar. They're a challenging band that seem like they're always going to be surprising and demand an open mindedness.

A-Side's "Preach Under Cooked" features frontman Justin Frye wrestling with this acoustic guitar for a nearly seven minute track. There are passing moments of country and blues but it refuses to stick to any sort of rhythm. The melody won't even repeat except the heavy BOINGS of that E string which has an almost middle eastern feel, like a broken sitar plucked at just the right time every cycle. It's a crazy conversation with itself and on a weirdly tuned guitar I might add that when it's fully extended towards the end of this it's not pretty. But maybe that has something to do with their philosophy too, it's not about that typical pop structure or the repetition of psych even but a different kind of hypnotism that comes out of utter chaos. With nothing to grab on to there's no expectations about where this is going, you can't ever predict a sound or follow along in the audio equivalent of Pi. Except that you keep looking for it - I'll be damned which side I believe. Is that fucking with my mind? Yes. Psych mission accomplished.

B-side's "Mellow Moon" brings in heavy hitting huge room sounding drums with thick toms alongside a warbled sample, that could be some kind of slow Gregorian chant? I think it's Justin who comes in with an equally warbled vocal that's got the pitch turned all the way up on that 4-track. This one has plenty of damaged slow loops while in the background a thin, fragile sounding electric plinks away divorced from the whole feeling of this thing. Here is the Gary War, Woods or even Ariel Pink connection. It's almost folk in it's plodding along organic feel while still being from another planet of sound. Maybe it's these analog elements that need some kind of human involvement to destroy or they just are inherently always degrading and changing over time. PC Worship is heavily manipulating that flaw and the results are completely mysterious like that plain xerox style sleeve. You recognize elements, or you think you do, but it's blurry or has been resampled so many times it's changed into something else.

Pick this up from Sophomore Lounge Records.

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