Monday, July 30, 2007

BARK HAZE “Macannabis” (Arbor)

This is the most Heavy Tapes-looking non-Heavy Tapes release of all time. Religious Knife Maya Miller did the carnivorous tree psychedelic landscape art here, and it’s pretty stunning…full color, two-sided, acid-fried. Music-wise, however, “Macannabis” (a weed joke of some sort?) is a cool C30 of Thurston Moore and Andrew MacGregor’s (Gown) improv duo with Pete Nolan lending bonus drums to the equation, which gives the guitar-duels some percussion to brawl on. The A side bleeds through some restrained riff murk and stuttery cymbal-riding until Gown starts falsetto moaning and Thurston begins Lambsbread-shredding the fretboard, hastening a decline into formless skronk that sprawls for a little, then cuts off abruptly. The B side is similar. After some mathy shred-mess they synchronize a 1-note low-end downstroke and cruise on that while Pete skitters the crashes and busts complicated fills in the background (it actually sounds like he’s using a drum machine for some of it but who knows?). A solid half-hour of all-star guitar fuckery/amplifier bramble harnessed against some steady low-mixed drumming. Fans of free garage jamming in the classic American tradition will find tons to dig on here.