Grasslung - Psychic Venom (Phaserprone CS)
A while ago I reviewed a bunch of Phaserprone stuff - a U W OWL LP, and HsDOM CD-R and a Southern Man/Pykrete CD-R. And they were good. But Jonas of PP also sent me a cassette which unfortunately refused to play more than 10 minutes of music. A shame since it had gotten good reviews elsewhere. Well to Mr. Jonas' credit he was on the ball and sent me a replacement tape within weeks, much to my elation. So here it is, the review that never was, Grasslung's "Psychic Venom". Grasslung is Brooklyn's Jonas Asher himself and this the books are closed on this little edition after 45 copies. I checked the Google cache of the Phaserprone website (since it seems to be down) and they're sold out but it seems like a bunch of distros around have copies so I suggest you hurry. As I learned upon receiving the other goodies, Phaserprone do a top-notch packaging job and "Psychic Venom" is no exception with the plastic tape case enclosed in a wraparound cardboard sleeve with some beautifully/ugly-rendered artwork to boot...always nice to see.
Side A is untitled and does feature those hornet swarms I was talking you up on in the non-review I linked to above but man, lemme tell you - a super-sinister vibe is afoot courtesy the Grasslung's claws. All sorts of evil loner basement vibes, bare-light in the middle of the room/myriad of photographs type jamming. And this is coming out of Bushwick, not say Oslo or Hungary or something like that. This is the sound of Joe Davola kicking the opera and and giving in to the synth-drone urge. Pagliacci out, de Deyster/Schnitzler/Radigue et al in. As a matter of fact, this whole side makes for a nice companion spool to all those Creel Pones I've been talking up recently, specifically the Jurgen Karg one which could possible be my favorite one of all I've heard...and that should at least say something about how much I'm feeling this one. Scores of whooshing cosmic-style heavy-hitting, in and out with a very drugged air, bombed psychedelics, all those good charms that I guess do brew and spawn in Bushwick basements...I can't think of too much to say about it because it's late and it's already fried my dome from the inside-out, but I get a feeling here like the last man on earth is creating aural documents for the vapor trails of the very same comets that did the rest of us in. Oh dear.
The B does have a title, and it's "Der Luftkrieg" (where you at Karg!). Gave me a scare when I flipped it because it played for like 5 seconds and then short-circuited on me. But a little fast-forward magic and it was love on the rocks again (just in case I didn't think of it last time, I tried the first one they sent me and it still wouldn't play...phew! Imagine me owning 2/45 copies?). This here flip is more into the drone, less swirling fog and vessels and all that. Moreso than anything just a heady, fare-forward jrone, massively stretched like a bright summer harmony buzzing inside your ear...same kind of sound as when the ham radio's playing in the background and it ain't loud enough to catch anything but the pops and crackles coming through. Well take all those sounds, mash em up and string em together and you're kind of on the right track. Whatever it sounds like to you I can bet you'll find it as fully intoxicating as I did. And when it's finally extinguished, man it just gives you that cleansing rush like a spring-water enema. Well, not like I would know but you get the idea. I'm executing hell of yawns here at the desktop so it's time to switch off but thank god I heard this tape beforehand because I think I'll be dozing to it every night for the rest of the week. Killer nightmare lullabies, we're talking. Freddy Krueger filling in on harp for the Dream Syndicate, we're talking. My face embedded in the keyboard, we're talking - no, seriously. So on that note I'll say good night.