Sunday, October 15, 2006


Here are two more noise killers whose trail of aural corpses I'm way behind on. I had hardly heard anything by Burning Star Core before I got my head torn off at the first No Fun Fest by him/them (that show featured main man C. Spencer Yeh ripping his violin and shaking his head and mouth around a mic while backed by some Hair Police, I think). Since then I've been drowned in a couple great BXC discs, but there are still a ton I want/need/am pathetic for not having. I'm even more of a zero with Lambsbread - been hearing about Zac Davis and his Ohio cabal a ton the past few years, but so far no actual audio experience has been logged...chalk it up to 24 hours being way too short of a day...

Time to rectify, and I can't imagine there's a much better intro/update to these guys than this CD-R on Lambsbread's in-house label Maim & Disfigure, lovingly titled Live in St. Louis. It's pretty quick - 2 tracks, 22 minutes - but feels longer in all the right ways. The first track is a 16-minute piece that arises slowly, with Yeh sawing some high violin tones while the Lambsbread stable add squalling feedback, lonely bass plucks, and achingly deadened guitar strokes. Things slowly ascend from there, with washing drums injected eventually, and a blistering battle of sharp guitar jangles and hole-tearing violin that often sounds like a misty bootleg of the V.U. playing a stretched-out version of "European Son." I dig how this track's pulse is unchartable yet undeniable - it seems to incrementally speed up, yet it never really gets "fast" - just increasingly urgent and thick, like a snowball rolling so far down a mountain it eventually swallows it. Whatever it's doing, it's definitely one of the best long group improv tracks I've heard all year, in a league with the Text of Light box and that insanely great Pengo disc from a few weeks back.

Since that track is 3/4ths of the disc, it would be theivery to post it, so instead here's the brief epilogue - a louder, more hectic rip through puncturing violin rage, overloading guitar blasts, and devastating drum anarchy. There's so much happening on this track that the digital audio space can't quite handle it, which only adds to the hypnotic sheen, vaguely like an iced-over pond under which the fish are frantically swimming for some way out. It all adds up to one of those somewhat rare times where two great bands can combine into something even greater (I think - time to get cracking on the rest of their discographies and prove myself wrong...)

BURNING STAR CORE & LAMBSBREAD - (track one) from Live in St. Louis


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