February 22, 2007

Eloe Omoe – Marauders

Filed under: Hype,Music — Shiny Beast @ 11:15 pm

[Animal Disguise; 2007]

Sometimes an ad-hoc genre does its job surprisingly well, sorting a sound into its personalized Tupperware, giving fast access to hungry listeners. “Free-sludge” plays that role for Tim Leanse and Sam Rowell’s debut LP, Marauders. Armed with drums and a bass guitar equipped with numerous effects and distortions, their music is brash and loud. Their heritage lies solidly in the realm of free-jazz while their execution is inspired by noise and their own explorative desires.

Leanse’s wild drumming starts up right from the first track. The boxed rhythms climb side step into the sky then crash back down without taking any breathers to check for broken limbs. Meanwhile, Rowell and her bass are the metamorphic centerpiece. Somewhere within “Meanstreak” is a bassline worthy of Clint Conley’s approval, but that’s hardly the point: it undergoes a turbulent transformation like smog hitting the clean city air, and brings some of the album’s highest highs. Haze follows the duo on “Unimog Lust” for five minutes of acerbic drumming and liberating low frequencies.

“By the Teeth of Our Skin” is the most distilled example of their sound, switching between spotlighting unscripted rhythms and dripping bass tones that would be familiar territory for doom metal bands. The album concludes with “A Bigger Boat,” which after the previous half hour of music only retreads ground, reminding us that they’ve learned how to represent the sound of a recent third degree burn victim floating through a dome full of ice water.

As a freshman effort, Marauders is a nice recording of talents and ideas. Its level of awe inspired is not consistent, however. With a background in free-jazz morals, it’s disappointing that only twice could they pull off extended tracks where they consistently infuse nuanced sounds throughout. These two Bostonians have the ability to genuinely synchronize, though, and their future should be monitored by everyone who perks up to listen to the creation of a “free-sludge” categorization.

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