These Wonderful Evils / Last Eyes split (Planted Tapes)

After several months of being ears deep in electronic blippity bloop, it has been sort of refreshing to catch a wave of really decent guitar-based albums over the past few weeks: Willie Lane’s “Guitar Army of One”, Chris Forsyth’s “Kenzo Deluxe”, C. Yantis' “Strung Figments”, and now this dual-headed beast of a release from These Wonderful Evils and Last Eyes, marking the debut of Denver’s Planted Tapes. Zak Boerger, the fine lad behind These Wonderful Evils, ditches the electric guitar psych sizzle of previous outings and goes at it all Takoma-style on his side. I’ll refrain from dropping the “F”-word here for risk of Ben Chasney rolling his eyes so far back into his head that they’ll never return to normal position, but the open-ended, Americana-meets-Raga-like tendencies do bear some semblance to that towering six-string master. Boerger, however, plays with a heavier hand and an often-aggressive strumming style, which distinguishes his work from a lot of those players, though. Maybe I’m full of (Sandy Bull)shit, but this stuff still hits on a very gut level. Last Eyes, another solo guitar project, this one by Denver’s Val Franz, tickles another aural sweet spot for me: blurry, overblown, guitar ambiance with a rockist thrust. If Grouper ever collaborated with The Dead C and had Christian Fennesz manning the boards, a dream collaboration if there ever was one, I imagine it could sound like something along these lines: blown-out and beautiful. Curious to see where Planted will g(r)o(w) next.   

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