Goliath Bird Eater - Blood Venus (Not Not Fun CD)
I guess a few people wanted me to hear this album because I've somehow wound up with two copies of it and I'm not even sure how I got one of em. Pretty curious lookin' jewel-case deco with absolutely no info whatsoever regarding artist or album title, that kinda info's only privy to you once you crack it open. Goliath Bird Eater huh. Scary name for a band, scarier name for a spider which is exactly what it is. It's also called the bird eating spider but would you name YOUR band Bird Eating Spider? Get fucking serious. What the trip here is that it's a two-man unit like a lot of units seem to be lately, featuring Bobb Bruno (of lotsa oddly-named ensembles and ex-the For Carnation, the only name you might recognize) on guitars, synthesizer, organ, bells and gong along with Jeremy Villalobos (Wives, Neon King Kong, others???) playing drums, gong and sampler. Thankfully no one sings. I don't know much about Bobb or Jeremy's pipes and I'm sure they're quite heavenly after 2-7 beers but I'm a firm believer in keeping voices outta this brand of haberdashery.
Once upon a time in the west I was unfairly pessemistic re: Not Not Fun's no wave thing because those genres generally bring about feelings in me typically reserved for things like genocidal dictators and hangnails but they've been putting out some real corkers lately (do I have to name names?) and have you gotten even a glimpse of that Bored Fortress 7" subscription series they're about to turn the key on? Are you kidding me? So I think it's safe to say my preconceived notions are baseless at best and bestless at base - Goliath Bird Eater (GBE? GoBiEa?) back that up. Really, when "Navigation" kicked in, I'm talking it literally kicked in because I just about miscarried upon meeting the devastating whomp of the duo's stoner metal/noise rock chops, kinda like Big Business but with more moments of inspired instruments disorder free kouts. By the time "Falcon Arrow", "Blood Venus" and "Tiger Emperor" speed by I'm already playing the blender game - Fucking Champs, Motorhead, Lightning Bolt, High on Fire, and Orthrelm working out their Family Issues in a 10x10 closet so close to Lemmy that you can hang your coat on his moles? It's all that plus you have to guzzle those guyses sweat when it's all said and done. "Mongol Hammer" combines searing synth eruption with a Villalobos drum loop so nasty it'll staple you to the floor and the guitar riff on "Emerald Frosien" is the nailgun that makes sure you stay put. "Burning Emerald" and "Anaconda Vice" bring about memories of Sabbath and anything to ever be inspired by them, tainted by living and dying through movements hereafter like punk, noise, no wave, grindcore and all else that's good and decent. And that's only the first half of the album. The other thirty minutes are devoted to one colossal track named "Daitorou" which can probably only be described as a think-piece about a mid-level band struggling with their own limitations in the harsh face of stardom, especially if you ignore anything after the words "think-piece" because I did just steal that line off Almost Famous like you didn't know. But it certainly is a chess match all right, pitting your grey matter (which ain't so hot after the thirty minute battering it just took) against huge, droning electronics, low-slung Oxbow-ish chords and plodding drums that definitely indicate far ominous things coming on the horizon. Does it explode like you think it will? Well I'm not going to spoil the whole thing for you, buy it if you want to know the answer to that question. I spose you could look at it like GBE's "Jerusalem", but if "Jerusalem" were a life preserver I wouldn't toss it out to any Tom, Dick or Harry out in the deep end so I can't just go saying it's on par with THAT classic yet. It does take a little too long to get to where it's going and it brings the running time to just under 70 minutes, ever so slightly excessive in this case I'm thinking...but hey, no one's forcing you to take it all in one sitting. Come at it like morsels man. Like morsels!
Something weird about this album - and I'm probably exposing myself here but not in a way that'd lead to any serious prison time - is that the bulk of the song titles are named after wrestling holds. I guess this is where I should say something like "after all this time spent with Goliath Bird Eater, you'll have felt like your ears were in an Anaconda Vice for the past hour!" but I'll defer to the Iron Sheik here. But not here. "You ask me excellent, excellent question..."