What can I say? BURNT HILLS.
Stripped down to a quartet here, Burnt Hills actually play louder than
ever before. You want heavy? You want merciless, unflinching,
guitar-wielding thug-beauty? Look no further. Cd-r edition of 123
with spray-stenciled vellum envelopes and mad-dog insert.
CD-R edition of 123.
Ah, another Burnt Hills. The Albany crew's been
busy lately, having just released this, a Ruralfaune number and a
beautiful Noiseville LP, all of which will likely be covered here. Figured
I'd start with this one though, as Adam from House of Alchemy just got in
touch with me randomly about a day after getting handed a bunch of stuff
from his label and Chapels project. Small world.
As far as this particular disc goes though, it's a totally wild one.
Stripped down to, would you believe it, a quartet, Jack, Ray, Eric and
Sick Llana get together for an hour long cathartic blast. If you're
thinking that Burnt Hills are losing their edge then ("These guys are
going all soft on us, what with this quartet approach--who do they think
they are, the Stones?"), well, you thought wrong. Rather this is one
of the most chaotic, noisiest discs in the unit's cannon, a total shredder
of a track whose guitars interweave into a psychedelic cesspool atop
gently writhing drums. The usual you say? Me thinks not. Eventually this
thing dissolves into the thickest batch of noise these guys have ever
conjured. Totally grinding, menacing stuff, the latter half of this bad
boy is unforgiving as hell. Thick analog murk does battle with
increasingly lethargic drum builds that speak to the physicality of the
approach. Some weird synth stuff eventually takes over for a bit, bouncing
all over the place with jubilant distress. I'm guessing this is Ray, as
he's usually the man manning the pedal setup at shows, and he has a knack
for taking his vocals and turning them into some truly odd blips, shrieks
When the rest join back in, it is utter demolition, with screeching
guitars rebounding around the concrete walls of Helderberg's underbelly as
they ascend toward noise-screech heaven. Really sprawling stuff, and
totally unforgiving in its vision as always. Gorgeous work in an
absolutely beautiful package complete with see-through wax paper and gold
prints. A killer manifestation of this unit which shifts personnel every
Monday night. The fluidity of such an approach however, rather than
closing off possibilities, opens them up into a canvas of thick internal
instrument unification. As always, a slayer.
Henry Smith - Ear