Crotchety improv from Chicago's avant-roots collective
Americana puritans beware. Those seduced by Califone’s wonderful Quicksand/Cradlesnakes, released in May, may have trouble assimilating this collection of instrumental soundtrack pieces. In the absence of traditional song forms, the collective’s creaky ambient and percussive tendencies dominate: lengthy improvisations like the three-part “Fireworks” take the atmospheres of old folk and blues, with few of the melodic signifiers, rather like fellow travellers The No-Neck Blues Band. Compelling stuff, nevertheless, and the courageous will be rewarded by some crepuscular funk towards the end of “Salome”.