Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Energy Gown - "Round House" square lathe cut single

I think the definition of psych keeps changing; what kinds of bands it applies to and what exactly those sounds are even are pretty unclear. Like garage you can throw this categorization at pretty much anything and it'll stick. I'm going to make the case for this five piece in Chicago, Energy Gown. First of all more members really help exploring the density of the genre, given multiple guitars and the free hands to experiment with non traditional sounds means we're halfway there. Next, these guys have evolved out of improvisational live performances, playing shows without that safety net of repetition and to top it off they go one step further by releasing something like this square lathe cut that's not like the normal record and they're getting into NNCK or Aaron Dilloway territory. There might be psych in this track but it's hardly the whole story.

On "Round" the chanting "RROOUUUNNDD" gets this thing going repeating that title lyric like their summoning the primal shape itself, drilling it slowly into your head. The surface texture of the instrumentation on the lathe for that matter is introducing layers of hiss and static, but not so noticeable that it draws attention away from the track itself, it's only when you consider how clean a real deep pressing of vinyl can be that this becomes an alien transmission. This dives into a dark space except for the vocal delivery and melody that's grounded in psych until this garage crunch of a solo and heavily echo'd drums come in. It's an otherworldly psych that has as much to do with positioning instruments in space as it does with what they're even playing. This damaged solo is the finest form of top grade seance, real Holy Mountain stuff that leaves you with no idea why this makes sense, you can't explain the imagery but it's done with such class and attention to detail it has to hold the key to something. His vocal slides portamento on those chords, forcing them slightly up a bending minor chord that's coming off sinister. This hieroglyphic screen print on the B-Side only adds to the occult leanings and the insert or cover offer no further explanation. Zooming in and out, projected colored oil and water you've heard of the era, but they're counting on the fact they can build on those conventions in a scary way. I love the sound when the instruments end and it's just metallic reflecting reverb dropping off every surface into infinity. The silence of what just happened. That pile has been building for a long time. You just happened across this ritual someone has made a very clear effort to get this right so don't go messing it up with your stupid footprints.

Self released square lathe cut direct from the band. I'd like to think they have a sort of internal symbolism that they've been developing for years. Each stem extending from the center hole correlates to a diety and music note.
Not enough of these, and that's the point, go get one of the 50 - make that 49 - out there.

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