Wrekmeister Harmonies – The Alone Rush (2018)

Wrekmeister HarmoniesThe Alone Rush (Thrill Jockey Records, 13 April 2018)

As you may recall, Wrekmeister Harmonies hit our Top 15 of 2015 List with their enormously epic outing Night of Your Ascension, with its dozens of contributors and guest stars. Since that time, the eclectic collective has been distilled down to just the duo of founder JR Robinson and vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Esther Shaw (the same pair who toured under the Wrekmeister name following that album, performing half of a set alone and the other half with Bell Witch as their backing band).

Also since that time, these two people have dealt with a variety of hardships and sorrows, culminating in a relocation from Chicago to Astoria, Oregon — and a lengthy period spent healing (metally and emotionally) as well as composing, which Robinson referred to as a “cult like affair, just the two of us, thinking the similar thoughts and working them out with hours and hours of conversation, totally alone.”

The result was The Alone Rush, released last month, in which only Robinson and Shaw perform, along with drums by Thor Harris.

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Anatomy of Habit – Ciphers + Axioms (2014)

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Anatomy of HabitCiphers + Axioms (Relapse Records, 10 November 2014)

 

Good afternoon, how is everyone out there? Myself, I’ve just finished my third cup of coffee (or was it the fourth?) and somehow I still feel like I could nod off any second. I did manage to sleep at least five hours last night — more than usual — which is a good thing. For a while, I’d been concerned I’d start seeing hallucinations.

Now, I’m just wondering if I’m hearing hallucinations. Yeah, I know, that was terrible. Sorry, but I just don’t have the energy to come up with a decent segue today. If you have a problem with it, you can write your own reviews.

Anyway, we’ll pretend that was a really smooth transition, and that brings me to what I wanted to share with you today. Again I’ve dipped into my extensive to-do list, and come up with this delightful little album that Relapse Records had unleashed on the world late last year. A bit strange, but it quickly grew on me, and I’ve come to really enjoy it a lot over the past several months. I’ve got a feeling that maybe some of you will, too.

 

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Out Last Week: Pinkish Black – Self-Titled

Pinkish BlackPinkish Black (Handmade Birds, 15 May 2012)

Okay, stop me if you’ve heard this one before.

The rest of his bandmates came back from wherever they’d been all day, and walked in to find a hellish nightmare: there lay his lifeless body, extinguished by his own hand while he’d been home alone.

It sounds like a tale from Until the Light Takes Us, I know, but this was the story of Tommy Atkins, bassist for Denton, Texas’s The Great Tyrant. Bandmates Daron Beck and Jon Teague reportedly discovered him in the bathroom. Having found their band reduced from a trio to a duo, they decided to continue on under a new name — in honor of the terrible scene they had come across, in which (they said) “the walls were pinkish black.”

With an origin such as this, it’s not at all surprising that the new musical project would seem inspired by and surrounded by death. Sometimes frightening, sometimes peaceful; sometimes horribly ugly, sometimes angelically beautiful; sometimes all of these at once. And dark. Such an intense darkness that it could almost blind anyone who gazes upon it.

 
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