Vanishing Voice
Stone Tablet
Important
122
2007
***

Good luck making sense of this one, a two-track album that sounds like
it was recorded by two different bands from a single extended family:
one, a downtown collective of noise-obsessed city cousins and the other
an inbred and possibly drunk group of country cousins. The genetic
relationship is clear, but it seems rather distant. {&"Peace Symbols"},
the album's first track, is 33 minutes long and builds up slowly around
the sound of distant guitars and other ambient noise; eventually the
drums kick in and it begins to rock in a more or less straightforward
way. Then, after another fifteen minutes or so, the sound collapses in
on itself and fades off into the distance again. From the back we hear
faint wails and variegated clangor, while in front we hear splattery
fuzz guitar. Then everything faints out on a somewhat dubby note. The
second track, which in relative terms is a model of concision at a mere
ten-and-a-half minutes, opens with the sound of male voice and acoustic
guitar - it's an actual song, written and performed in an explicitly
country style while backing vocals wail dolorously behind the singer.
Things can't go on this way, of course, and eventually the tape is
slowed, spindled, and mutilated, and about halfway through the
proceedings the whole thing is overtaken by layers of buzzy electric
guitar. Then everything slides slowly into a shivering mess of feedback
and distortion. And there you have it. The perfect thing for people who
like this sort of thing.