A while back, I read somewhere that Ben Chasny’s next Six Organs Of Admittance record would feature the heavy involvement of his old bandmates from Comets On Fire: it would be a kind of Comets reunion, was the speculation, albeit with Chasny in the driving seat rather than Ethan Miller.
Amazing news, which makes it pretty ridiculous that I forgot all about it ‘til yesterday, when the first fruit of the sessions landed. The album is called “Ascent”, and you can hear/download the tremendous opening track, Waswasa, here. I’m not sure quite which Comets are along for the ride, but it sounds like Miller’s there, on day release from Howlin Rain, tracking Chasny’s needling leads with.some deeper rhythms behind the general foot-to-the-gas jamming vibes of it all.
I’ve just got the whole album, which is excellent and deserves a proper listen before I write more. Don’t expect a return to the Comets’ early psych-hardcore thing, though (Chasny touches on some of that in Rangda, I guess; which reminds me there’s a new Richard Bishop album to write about): as “Waswasa” suggests, “Ascent” mostly feels like a continuation of the more classically-structured “Avatar” sound (you could see the overdriven choogle of “Waswasa” as being a sequel of sorts to “Sour Smoke”), obviously mixed with Chasny’s intricate, incantatory and pretty personal way with a song (I’m thinking “Sun Awakens” might be a good reference point).
Playing right now is the monstrous “Close To The Sky”, which plants a fantastically edgy Chasny solo into terrain reminiscent of Crazy Horse, “Down By The River”. Something else reminded me of “LA Woman” yesterday, and a decent contemporary analogue might be Rick Tomlinson’s Voice Of The Seven Thunders. But I’ll write more soon: out in August, I believe.
One more thing to check out today, though. I’ve written before at length about Purling Hiss and chucked about Comets On Fire references with regard to them and Mike Pollize’s parent band, Birds Of Maya – also root of another recent favourite, Spacin’ (click on the link) (Spacin’s “Sunshine, No Shoes” is on the next Uncut CD, by the way, issue out next Tuesday).
Anyhow, Pollize has been guesting with War On Drugs before the current Purling Hiss tour with Wilco, and Adam Granduciel seems to have convinced the band to try a relatively hi-fi approach. You can download the superb result, “Lolita”, here. On a Blue Cheer>Mudhoney>Queens Of The Stone Age>Jeff The Brotherhood trajectory, I think. Great stuff.
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