SAL LAKE / KEIKI split (Live God Records)

Two enter the Thunderdome. One leaves.

Or, uh, they converge into one enormous abominable entity and reflect our own ugliness back at us through the sheer power of sound.

Sal Lake (Andrew Lake, Athens, OH) and Keiki (Evan Lautzenheiser, Cincinnati, OH) have killed their former independent selves and merged within these split cassettes, with Lake occupying side A and Lautzenheiser side B. Lake gets a little krauty and proggy at first with “lungsack,” (I call it “facepunch” behind everybody’s back), then coats our ears in ambient and noisy grease throughout the rest of his side. Standouts include “betterhomeandgardens,” which grinds our faces in our neatly manicured lawns, and “ourprincesscastle,” which manages to somehow make me want to play Super Mario Bros. again, yet terrifies me from doing so at the same time.

Lautzenheiser’s Keiki side dispenses with subtlety immediately on the horrific “Hanged Man,” somehow sounding like the tape manipulations at the beginning of Boredoms’ “Super You” before hiccupping off into the sunset after a minute forty-five. “To Listen, To Love” gleams like a transformed god with inviting peace and magic, but gunks up with demonic glee by its end. And “13” – the less I say about “13” the better. It’s thirteen minutes long (hence its name), and could kill you if you’re allergic to it.

This split is sound sculpture at its finest. Punk ambience. Death drift. Thunderdome results. God’s punishment. A way out.

--Ryan Masteller