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 Review archive:  # a b c d e f g h i j k l m n o p q r s t u v w x y z

Yellow Swans & Birchville Cat Motel - ST [Important Records - 2006]

A collaboration  between tow of the biggest and most respected names in the modern guitar drone/noise genre, was always going to something to look foward to. And this certainly lives up to ones expectations. Togeather they've Creating an album of denser tones- that moves from brutal walls of sound, to more eerie undertones to even some frankly beautiful windswept melodies.

On offer are two tracks both around the half an hour mark and booth recorded in new Zealand home of Birchvilie Cat Motel and it’s creator Campbell Kneale. The first track Terminal saints is a studio recording, starting with a slowly growing wall guitar  feedback, with eletronic and guitar  struggling  tones  to the four front. The feeling is very bleak and airless almost desert storm like. As the track develops a bizarre almost  bag pipe like harmonic appears sawing and weep with in the dense wall of sound, as it dances and attacks the other  elements, the guitar feedback drone seeming echoing off for ever and ever like a vast mirror corridor above you. But the most surprising element that appears at the based of the dense wall of sound is a soft picked and lonely desert wind melodic guitar . Giving the track a wonderful sad and lost feeling. As the track runs out the rest of it’s time it drifts more and more towards the wonderfully sad melody as it becomes more intermingled with the drone it’s self- towards the end it almost drifts into sludgy doom type terroritorty, with a sprinkling of screwed up  metal solo guitar heroics.

The second track  Marble Carcass was recorded live and is more chaotic, black storm beast of a track. All manner of twisted electro tones emanate from the central guitar drone- all most coming off like million of screaming voices. The morbid /fierces tones snake their way in and out  of the main drone almost masking it out in places , the boil tones  start to stretch and split and crash in corroding in chaotic  noise fashion. Towards the end the noise clears somewhat and a guitar droning tone is left to hum its grim harmonics up to the heavens.

Though both tracks are worthy of your time it’s the first track that really hits home best for me, with the depth & layers of sound and  it’s searing emotional centre. Really yet another example why both these artist are unmissble. To hear samples and buy direct go here.

Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5Rating: 4 out of 5

Roger Batty
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