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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
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Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
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The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
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Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Gorge Trio
Open Mouth, A Wisp
Skin Graft Records

Rating: 6/10 ?

October 1, 2004
Gorge Trio keep with the program on Open Mouth, A Wisp. Made up of members of Colossamite as well as Natural Dreamers/Deerhoof (John Dieterich), Gorge Trio takes the experimentation of the aforementioned bands even farther. More deconstructed than previous projects, Open Mouth, A Wisp is both maddening and beautiful. However, most of the time, their instrumental chaos is overbearing in comparison to the disc's quieter moments, where something more is being communicated than just noise. In comparison to Natural Dreamers, Gorge Trio lacks joyful energy. Their songs are more serious, less playful, and more difficult to listen to.

Besides the conventional guitar and drums, of which Gorge Trio play entirely unconventionally, they also incorporate electronic elements. Robotic spasms dominate "The Lurker" - a song like most others on the album that barely surpasses the 30-second mark. "Bitter Drum," as well, is supported by electronic bells and whistles that give way to a sound of malfunction. Though the false machine does work for a moment, it follows the formula set out for it and derails once again. These are the instances most difficult to listen to. The electronic cacophony employed in these songs overshadows the otherwise organic, though chaotic, instrumental tracks. Parts become more mechanical, more indifferent and more detached.

Adverse to the innovative free-flow I was expecting, there is tenseness to the songs on Open Mouth, A Wisp. Like a very strained release of agitation, there is a sputtering of words and a furious holding down of guitar strings. As evidenced on "Paris Trap," orchestral chaos serves as the background for the difficult repetition of blistered notes, the bending of fingers to create foreign squeals. The album ends with its only use of vocals - the spooky coo on "Treasure House In Amber" - that brings together the tone of concern running through the record. Though there are portions of the album that seem out of touch, moments such as these perk up, and show us how and why these sounds are being created.

Gorge Trio, in tow with a long lineage of other artists, question the art of making music itself. They turn things around; they piece elements together that normally have no business being in proximity. They are the descendents of a long history of musical assemblage starting with John Cages' post-WWII experimentations (created in a time, much like now, where nothing was making any sense) and ending with the further detachment expressed in postmodernism. Though challenging, it is interesting to wonder why certain sounds, images, etc. are placed together. And although this album falters in that being too experimental can be isolating for your audience, I think it is successful in making known that something is eating away at the surface, creating tension, and waiting to show itself.

Reviewed by Abbie Amadio
The last we heard Abbie Amadio, a former contributor to LAS, was based in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

See other reviews by Abbie Amadio



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