July 23, 2024

Dead Sea Apes / The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol – ‘Pantheon of Fuckery’ – “repetitive grooves and extended drumming”

CARDINAL FUZZ 20th Jan 2023

A reminder of those days when DIY bands could get a track out by sharing the other side of a single, or get the attention of the other band’s audience. This is a double-header but the bands aren’t neophytes and it’s an album not a single – though each only get one track, it’s a twenty-minute track. Released on ultra-limited vinyl, you can, of course find the digital on Bandcamp, though it wouldn’t have the feel, the smell, the art……….

Twinned in a love of repetitive grooves and extended drumming, they make good flip-buddies however, there’s always going to be a favourite and mine is TBWNIAS (The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol). We’ve covered releases before from this ever-shifting line-up. With nine members this time, this live recording was caprured in the wild and brought back by the nice people at Holmfirth’s Cardinal Fuzz. It’s echoey garagey jamming – a solid beat, spacey jams and plenty of fuzzy distortion. It meanders on constant shifts, one thing changing at a time, connecting yet flowing – here an alteration to the drum pattern, there a new guitar pedal. There is extended guitar noodling and the sense of live creation throughout. The sound is a simple capture, no mix down, just live jam. There are pauses now and again but the jam just intensifies after, everyone crescendoing at once before drifting into stasis, the guitar reaching hopelessly for something new, till the drums kick it back into place and spirals of sound resume. Everything ends unresolved, as does this, but the journey is the thing.

The Dead Sea Apes are the ‘B-side’ for me – a slow repetitive slow build that never reaches the ecstatic heights of TBWNIAS but is continuously intense yet minimal. It sounds like that tension on a hot day when you hope for thunder to break the tightness. It won’t get as many plays as TBWNIAS, but well worth your time.


Some other reviews of these two bands:

The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol – ‘Ensemble 2016’ – “LSD trails float across the vision of tranced dancers and tripping vinyl junkies”




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