OOIOO, Shrinebuilder, Blues Control, MV & EE

Following on from yesterday’s catch-up session (thanks for the Gothenburg report on J Tillman and dulcimer, by the way), another bunch of stuff today that I’ve been meaning to write about for a while.

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Following on from yesterday’s catch-up session (thanks for the Gothenburg report on J Tillman and dulcimer, by the way), another bunch of stuff today that I’ve been meaning to write about for a while.



Blues Control are a New York duo whose previous records have been interesting, but hard to pin down; slippery, evasive, faintly noisy jams that have precious little to do, overtly, with the blues. On the excellent “Local Flavor”, however, it’s fractionally easier to get a handle on them. There’s a distinct kosmische vibe to plenty of these four tracks, though their tools aren’t always typical – a lot of piano and squitting drum machines floating through the lo-fi synthscapes, and some disruptive guitar turned down in the background.

“Good Morning”, featuring Kurt Vile of all people on trumpet, is crudely akin to ambient garage rock, while “Rest On Water” is a needling reimagining of, maybe, an old Budd/Eno jam. A grower, for sure.

As is the appealingly-titled new one from MV & EE, “Barn Nova”. I mentioned this the other day on a blog about their current labelmates Hush Arbors, and it’s starting to bed in now. You’ve got to be pretty intensely dedicated to keep up with MV/EE releases, and I must admit I only really know their more overground things, but this is fairly typical of those, being impressively frayed outsider freak-outs that sit somewhere between Neil Young, the Dead, Royal Trux and perhaps, especially when you hear Matt Valentine’s high, unsteadily questing vocals, a Mercury Rev shorn of gloss and pomp.

New Boredoms-related activity is always welcome, and “Armonico Hewa”, the latest from Yoshimi’s band OOIOO, is typically up to scratch; a playful, no-wave iteration of her other band’s tribal leanings. Pummelling polyrhythms, severe ebbing riffs and a lot of vocal exuberance here, though – as I’ve mentioned in an extended column about the whole Boredoms in this month’s Uncut – it’s maybe not quite one of their best albums.

Finally, Shrinebuilder, a self-proclaimed supergroup from the underground metal/doom scene. Consisting of Wino from Spirit Caravan etc, Al Cisneros (Om), Dale Crover of The Melvins and Scott Kelly (Neurosis), “Shrinebuilder” is an enjoyably crunchy debut, maybe a deal more energised and feisty than certain stoner rock reputations might suggest, and fairly prog in places, too. Being a bit of a dabbler in these things, it’s hard not to resort to old Sabbath references out of ignorance but, of course, there’s no harm in that.

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