Nick Grey and the Random Orchestra - Spin Vows Under Arch [Beta-lactam Ring Records - 2010]Nick Grey is obviously a very ambitious artist that I've never heard much about. There has been collaborations with such people as Charlemagne Palestine as well as Martyn Bates of Eyeless In Gaza, both of whom are on this disc, and Grey having a connection with Matt Shaw, otherwise known as "Texlahoma".
Anyways, this album starts out decently enough with "King Flood (The Slide)", a rather spooky tribute to Hunter S. Thompson where everything sounds quite slowed down to a snail pace. The next track "Miller, 1918", continues with the creepiness, sounding like you're hearing the "Rosemary's Baby" soundtrack while hungover and simultaneously on acid.
I can definitely spot the Eyeless in Gaza inspiration on "Your Greatest Hunger" although Grey has a much different singing style. Except there's all these drunken horns going around... "Black Paper, Mountain" starts out with a pastoral theme but gets rather dark. Martyn Bates' track is a traditional French folk song, and (again) sure sounds like an Eyeless in Gaza track. The murky bizarreness of the album carries on for a few more tracks until the Charlemagne Palestine piece at the end, entitled in its wackiness "Porno Drone (Evil Spiders Have Put a Curse on Our Garden)", pretty much being what you expect from that minimalist mastermind with some field recordings in the mix...
Well, this is definitely what I'd call difficult listening, but then there aren't many albums of this stripe in today's dumbed-down world. So is Spin Vows Under Arch worth having? DefinitelyLawrence J. Patti