Here are some short capsule reviews of some 2011 releases we didn’t otherwise get to over the past year.
Bill Orcutt, How the Thing Sings (Editions Mego) LP— Seemingly more aggressive than A New Way to Pay Old Debts, Bill Orcutt’s second “post-comeback” LP How the Thing Sings still manages to showcase the occasional moment of beauty within what superficially may sound like a huge racket. Buy it here.
Nathan Salsburg, Affirmed (No Quarter) LP — We praised Salsburg’s duo record Avos with James Elkington, and we worked on the occasional show with him, so maybe you’re tired of reading about Nathan Salsburg’s deft guitar work and superb melodic sense in these pages. Well, guess what? Too bad. His solo debut, Affirmed, is every bit as good as Avos, perhaps it’s even better in its melancholy starkness. Can’t wait to hear more from Nathan in 2012. Buy it here.
Craig Colorusso, Sun Boxes (self-released) 7″ — One of the more pleasant surprises in our mailbox this year was this unassuming 7″ record documenting Craig Colorusso’s “Sun Boxes.” Basically they’re some sort of contraption that involves twenty amplifiers looping parts of a guitar chord and running on solar power, documented here in two different Massachusetts locations. Despite the short format, we look forward to hearing more. Buy it here.
The Parasites of the Western World, “Politico” b/w “Zytol Automation” (De Stijl) 7″ — Faithful repress of an obscure 1979 single by this band, recently resurrected by the same folks who brought you Michael Yonkers and 39 Clocks (so you know it’s gotta be pretty great). Late 1970s Eno-damaged glam-punk moves on the a-side, with a sparkling synth-driven instrumental on the flip. Highly recommended. Buy it (and their self-titled debut LP) here.
Silver Tongues, Black Kite (Karate Body) LP — This new Louisville band is both confounding and fascinating — the former because of their occasional “big rock” moves, the latter because of the clear gospel-via-Spiritualized influence we hear ringing throughout. Tough to grasp, in a good way, and hints at a possibly more interesting sophomore record. Buy it here.
Stare Case, Lose Today (De Stijl) LP — If you thought you were familiar with Nate Young and John Olson’s music through their “other” band Wolf Eyes, you may be in for a slight shock when you hear the much mellower — yet still intense — Stare Case. Lose Today is almost like a mash-up of their solo work as Regression (Young’s vocals and electronics) and Spykes (Olson’s electronics and reeds), which shouldn’t work, but does. Buy it here.
Mark McGuire, Get Lost (Editions Mego) LP — Excellent solo noodling by the guitar player in Emeralds, probably the best band to come out of Cleveland since, well, the 1970s. Reminiscent of our favorite Cluster/Harmonia/Eno records, but with an acid-drenched modern edge, which is no mean feat. Buy it here.