Thursday, May 22, 2008

SAINTS "Umbanda" (Abandon Ship)

First heard a demo tape from this Goleta dude/duo a while back that sounded like a single mic left on in a room while someone took turns clattering out rickety rhythms on various random surfaces. Very empty, small energies, no real agenda. Intrigued me, but didn't really catch fire. For this CS on Abandon Ship they've clearly been doing some jam-homework, ironing out arrangements and aesthetics, it sounds like a totally different band. Now things are heavily in-the-red, with blown-out percussion played slo-mo style, distorted moaning, lots of repressed feedback, discomfort. Whatever coastal loner experimental hippie vibe they used to kick around is gone, replaced with a heavy noise, proto-industrial vibe, pissed off but lazy, lolling around in a stew of bile. Umbanda is a fringe Afro-Brazilian religion founded by a medium in the early 20th century, and every "song" on this C-whatever is named after a different esoteric tenet of this faith, but I can't discern even the remotest relationship between subject matter and sound. Not that there needs to be, of course. Would prefer things not be so angry-sounding, but perhaps they've got an axe to grind with the Umbandan belief system?