Wednesday, January 2, 2008

CENTURY PLANTS "Without Mercury" (Abandon Ship Records)

Century Plants is a duo of Eric Hardiman and Ray Hare who hail from Albany, NY. Judging solely from pictures on their Myspace page, this looks to be a predominantly guitar-based project. There's kind of an underwater psychedelic ambience permeating the twenty minute long "Floating Elemental," which starts off minimal with chopped and screwed cat mews before shifting to more discernable repeating guitar lines and controlled feedback loops. It might linger too long for some ears, but if you're in the right mood it's a nice meditative backdrop. "Photosynthesis" is heavier, and there's a nice texture created with the juxtaposition of bass-heavy drone and blurred vocal recordings. It can be difficult for a group like Century Plants to find a unique sound in a scene saturated with guitar-heavy psych, but "Without Mercury" isn't lacking redeeming moments, such as an unexpectedly ecstatic harmony appearing in the tail end froth of "Photosynthesis." Plus there's an opaque yellow tape involved that screams "educational." How can that possibly be a bad thing?

Abandon Ship Records: http://www.abandonshiprecords.com/