Monday, 20 April 2015

Wandering Exhaustion

Last year Exhaustion released their second LP Biker, and it was easily one of my favourite releases of the year. So when I saw this drop into my inbox (on my birthday no less) I was immediately excited. But as you may have noticed, Sonic Masala has been fairly quiet the last month and a half, so I haven’t been able to describe the calamity that unfolded once I started playing the damn thing. You see, these psych rock marauders aren’t just whipping out an extension to their work – this is a blown out, visceral collaboration with Dutch-born tenor saxophonist Kris Wanders, strongly versed in the heady days of early free improv in Europe, having smashed holes through convention alongside the likes of Peter Brotzmann (seriously what isn’t this guy doing these days? Must be one of the busiest men on the planet right about now…) However there is a sense of dynamism on this one-sided LP that eschews each participant’s previous outpourings. There are swells of cathartic metal clang and wind, a caterwaul of desperate release; and there are troughs of tetchy silence, interspersed with false starts and tics that underscores the nervous energy each player brings to the proceedings. It wouldn’t surprise me if Endless Melt had infused sweat and blood into the wax as each record was pressed, so evident is the fever that this collaboration captures. Duncan Blatchford doesn’t allow for his guitar to do all the hissing and spewing though – his vocal interjections are guttural, impulsive, primal breaths, grunts and pants, a rebirth borne of exertion, viscera and saliva. Wanders’ punctuations are speed-of-light ripostes through the defences, at once wondrous and debilitating. It all makes for a heady melange of impulses and expulsions, sewn together by sinew and devilish determination. Grab it here.

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