Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Anatomy of Habit : "Ciphers + Axioms"

This project gets points for being so influenced by the Swans. However it' worth a listen yet , not something I feel compelled to keep in my iPod as it's two songs that are both over twenty minutes. The First "Radiate an Receive" finds a Gira like Baritone chant, ranting over the slow minimal pulse of the songs subtle throb. Imagine a nightmarish version of Interpol. This incarnation of the project now enlists members of Indian, the Sea and Cake, Wolves in the Throne Room and Joan of Arc. So the sound is as crazy as their collective influences might be diverse, though it sounds like they all can agree on Swans.

They lumber at a powerfully plodding tempo, but are not what I would call doom, more like very deliberate Sludge infused post -rock, thought with a very indie rock take on the vocals supplied by Mark Solotroff, when they are not in a domineering baritone, that commands your attention his vocals are very quirky and not unlike a starker version of Interpol. So not as dark as Ian Curtis if you are keeping score at home. When the vocals take a harsher turn, it's pretty impressive and from a production stand point this album is head and shoulders above the project's previous work. Before the nine minute mark they begin to really start pounding you with some pretty solid metal. The chug is strong. Dynamically they can drop back into the post rock thing at will. When you get to the sixteen minute mark of the first song, you being to wonder why this is still being dragged as they have made the point already. They keep pounding the point home, sometimes soaring, but not really expanding on new ground with it.

"Then Window" doesn't catch it's groove until it's closing in on the five minute mark. It starts off exploding out of a womb of feed back. The song coasts along on this more straight forward post- rock section for a few minutes, gradually building with almost a psychedelic feeling, if we are talking about "Ummagumma" era Pink Floyd.He chants the album's title for sometime. You need a decent stomach for drone in order  to enjoy this album. I like it used as a device , but when it becomes they only element driving the ship, then they better well be droning on some next level shit. They hang on the chant until mid way through the song. Then for the following seven minutes they let the song drift out into outer space. This evolves into full blown noise. Something that Swans dabbles in but is not the be all end all of what they are about in order to be obtuse. So for almost a good quarter of this album is droning noise. So how many drugs do you do is the next question this album asks of you. Once upon a time I would have enjoyed sailing across my living room to this , now I'm a little more grounded so don't have the use for it. I'll give this album a 6.5 , because I like when they are making real songs and from a production stand point they are heading in the right direction, next time I hope they focus more on the songwriting as they have too much talent to waste on noise.


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