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Oct 21, 2017







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Bell Witch, Mirror Reaper (Profound Lore Records)

Timely for Halloween, the third album from the Seattle-based doom-metal scamps consist of one song, the title track, clocking in at 83 minutes. If that’s not weird enough, the band is a duo, comprising Dylan Desmond on bass and vocals and drummer/organist/singer Jesse Shreibman. Going for it with one hour-long tune tells you two things: one, they’re pretty brave not to offer up anything that’d fit on any sort of radio format, and two, this has to be a one-session freestyle jam (right?). But even if the latter’s the case, and they were just killing time waiting for an 18-pound turkey to cook, this at least stands as a monument to the power of duo-hood — you know they were giving each other bombastic head-nod cues, which was all they needed to keep this sounding as tight as Topographic Oceans-era Yes on downer drugs. The engineer for Swans and Neurosis watched over this, and aside from some serious beast-monster shrieking and some sort of Dracula chanting that’s what it is: long guitar ringouts, galactic despair, etc. B 
— Eric W. Saeger





Exsage, Total Devotion (self-released)
CD Reviews: 10/19/17

10/19/17



Exsage, Total Devotion (self-released)

Another self-released deal from a spikey garage-slash-dreampop band, this time from L.A., and baked in the sort of vibe one associates with movies like Wild at Heart. There’s a pure 1960s element present that’s one reason you can’t write this off as a female-fronted Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, but it’s also got the nice nasty guitar that keeps its 1990s chromosomes from nicking Garbage too much. Out of all the above word-fricassee, though, you want to walk away with a David Lynch impression, mostly due to the workaday songwriting and leather-jacket vocals of frontperson Kate Clover, a low-rent substitute for Kills’ Alison Mosshart in her best moments, specifically “Come Alive,” a mid-tempo fright-wig go-go-boot that doesn’t check Batgirl as its goddess but doesn’t need to. Yes, that’d be the best place for these tunes, a Lynch-directed remake of Batgirl, with everything shot through blue goop and infused with just the right amount of hopelessness (this is the most positive spin I can put on this, I swear). B- — Eric W. Saeger





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