x.0.4. - Cataracts (Ecstatic Peace! LP)
Bill Nace has been destroying guitars for so long outside of my record collection that I thought it high time to rectify that situation. Unfortunately I slept on his "Solo Gtr" tape that got mega praise last year but no way I was gonna miss out on the vinyl debut from the x.0.4. trio to which he belongs, alongside John Truscinski and Jake Meginsky (formerly a duo of just Nace and Truscinski, see a CD-R on Audiobot for further knowledge). Nace I caught once upon a time playing in Thurston Moore's Dream Aktion Unit at the Victo fest so I was already somewhat acquainted with his hooded sonic battery, but Truscinski and Meginsky are pretty new names to my eyes. Well it turns out that Truscinski can be heard hittin' skins on a brand new GHQ CD-R for the Arbitrary Signs label, while Meginsky is a student of and research assistant to a one mister thee Milford Graves...say no more. Together, the two make more racket under the name Slaughterhouse Percussion although that name doesn't ring any bells for me either, maybe it does for you? If so you can clue me in after class. And you know Nace from earlier work with Chris Corsano in Vampire Belt, Dylan Nyoukis and Karen Constance in Ceylon Mange, and Thurston Moore himself in Northampton Woods.
"Cataracts" is steeped in two side-long sessions, recorded in Vermont of last year, and it does a fine job of inverting the kind of assault you'd expect from a guitar/percussion/percussion trio. The first side mainly features rolling percussion not at all unlike cement cyllinders cascading down a paved incline, while whistle and creak and drainpipe guitar marrow tumble and oscillate note over strangled note in a twinkling free-anything display. As the end of the first side nears, a full-on restrained guitar squabble/feedback fencing comes into view on the horizon that sounds like the chilled beginnings of a Prurient LP I can't put my finger on, or maybe it isn't even Prurient at all. The same brand of microtonal flickering groan occupies the other side, except with way more super sparse, dragged-string and cymbal beltsanding not at all unlike the Graveyards line-up when C. Spencer Yeh steps in. In fact, if you like the crawling sounds of Graveyards, it's hard to picture you not getting a kick out of x.0.4.'s crystal sharp improvised skewer...even if they're not always on the same radar.
It's hard to pin x.0.4. down anywhere which is why I like em so much - I'm picking up loads full-Americana-band dementoid sensibilities in the trio's approach but also patches of desolate-Americana-basement loner mentality, hitting chords somewhere from Smegma and the L.A.F.M.S. troupe down to Boyd Rice and GX Jupitter-Larsen. Good on Ecstatic Peace! for making this edition bountiful and cost-friendly too; no excuse for you now, buddy.
Untitled (side A) (extract)
Untitled (side B) (extract)