Tuesday, April 21, 2015
San Kazakgascar on Lather Records
Sometimes it's crazy when I realize I covered a bands previous single seven years ago. San Kazakgascar has been around for at least nine years now, an incredible feat for any band, let alone a four piece of experimental mideastern psych featuring a clarinet from Sacramento. I have to hand it to a group clearly out to please themselves and in the process create truly unique weirdness.
A-Side's "First Nation Spy" opens with a heavy kick thud and bouncy bass groove, a clicking tightly wound guitar melody is poised to spring out of the reverb with a heavy picked push on those strings ricocheting off the frets, definitely recorded live. That clarinet is an amazing touch, out of nowhere it pops into this soundtrack to a middle eastern Repo Man. The vocal hums along in the same minor key structure as this springy sitar sounding guitar. Plenty of weirdo percussion layers of triangles and shakers to keep the hookah smoke wafting. It's a psych sounding Turing Machine; plenty of tension in the chase sequences obscured by the smoke from the chronic. Loose and hectic they're still at it, flying that very specific freak flag.
B-Side's "Last Man Standing" smacks a tight conga drum while that bass nails the same notes somehow with a southern pacific, snake charmer feel in this dream mirage. It looks like there's water up ahead but it's this four piece just channeling their primitive side and you're witness to this raw, eastern seance. Really great anti-guitar tones out of that electric. This one happens to finally break into a darker, ominous feel, telepathically growing at the right moment. Jed Brewer's vocal about being the last man in an apocalypse among the pools of fracking water hits close to home. Just when you thought this was some futuristic fusion, like a klezmer Godspeed You Black Emperor they drag it back into the strange combinations of things happening today.
On black vinyl from their bandcamp page or Lather Records.