Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Locrian/Harpoon 7" (HWC Inc.) from Cosmo Lee Invisible Oranges

I've never been one for 7"s; I'll always be an album guy. So it's rare that a 7" comes along and becomes something I listen to repeatedly, given my new music queue that's perpetually in triple digits.

This one had two strikes against it. First, it wasn't much to look at. That's important to me for vinyl. If you're using paper, plastic, and petroleum to manufacture a product, especially one that's larger than CD size, it had better have great visuals. And this one has a blah, almost monotone cover — I'm posting a flyer for an upcoming show instead — though the marble green vinyl might appeal to some.

Second, it had Harpoon on it. I know I said that bands aren't things to hate, but I hated Harpoon's Double Gnarly/Triple Suicide album. Drum machine grind is not my thing at all. The drum machine aspect usually drives me nuts, but the annoyance is minimal here. The production doesn't sound plastic, and the fantastic guitar work takes precedence. There are Megadeth-style spiky runs, haunting droning, and a mix of vulnerability and relentlessness that recalls Pig Destroyer. This is music with feeling, which I rarely get from drum machine grind. Color me pleasantly surprised.

Harpoon - Song 13 CD (excerpt)
Locrian - Antediluvian Territory (excerpt)

Locrian are automatic base hits for me. While I don't mind dark ambient/noise stuff, it often feels disposable or interchangeable for me. Locrian, however, have always stood out for me, thanks to their attention to detail. Amid the requisite washes and eerie noises, they stick in bits — subtle production touches or guitar melodies — that give tracks shape and meaning. Locrian tracks always make me think and feel, and their two tracks here are no exception. The big winner is "Antediluvian Territory," which has crystalline, echoing guitars that recall MGR, the solo project of Isis' Mike Gallagher.

This is the last physical release for Hewhocorrupts Inc. Appropriately for a Chicago label, the catalogue number is 23. It's a pressing of 300, with a download code good for two additional tracks.

— Cosmo Lee

Link here.