Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Review: Eternal Tapestry - The Invisible Landscape (Not Not Fun, 2009)
Eternal Tapestry has been on the forefront of this century's space inspired psychedelic rockers, releasing a slew of tapes, LPs, solo and side projects, as well as putting on blistering live shows. Much of the appeal of this comes from the fact they just straight out shred. In a genre that features less traditional line-ups and more of a focus on the space between notes rather than just flooding your face with a barrage of notes, Eternal Tapestry seem like a straight out rock band. Not to say there is an endless void of guitar hero moments in the neo-psychedelic sphere, but very few bands can combine virtuosity with space and the moments that connect these two zones as well as Eternal Tapestry does. With The Invisble Landscape, they return to the most traditional of rock line-ups (the power trio) and add some studio warmth to the mix to blast you with their unique blend of combined styles.
Blast they do. To call them kraut-punk is apt. Though they play far too many notes and groove way too hard to ever be punk, the heaviness and attitude that they bring to kraut style jamming is the overriding theme of their work. The Invisible Landscape finely balances the moments of heavy psych rock, pocket grooves and blissful space enough to make it one of their finer albums to date and an exciting point for moving forward.
The album starts uptempo and never really lets down. Fast, repetitive grooves and drowned out vocals slowly escalate into moments that take the best aspects of full on acid-rock freakouts and cocaine-rock shredding and mash them into a concotion that is wholly their own. The drummming settles into tight pockets, heavily influenced by motorik style kraut drumming. However, the pocket is never a gaurantee. While heavy on fills and propulsion, it is also content to just drop on you at any given moment and break the trance. At it's grooviest, most head-nodding moments, you get the added treat of a solid backing rythm being torn apart by wah fuzz soloing. Indeed, for three players it is a super layered affair.
I have no idea how much of their songs are written as opposed to created spontaneously, but for a band that's bread and butter lays in its ability to free improvise into and out of songs their sense of melody and transition is impeccable. They also show, while being fully comfortable to hit the ground running and take songs full throttle, they can also slow down the tempo and slowly and deftly craft beautiful, lifting jams, all highlighted by fantastic guitar interplay where all the instruments seem to blend together into an ecstatic whole.
That's why this is a great album and in general Eternal Tapestry is a great band. All tension and no release is a sure formula for blue balls, but with this band you're going to get a lot of catharsis. Many of the times, bands face downfalls in being able to build moments, but not finish them, or that thier lack of ability to console and combine the myriad influences of what they are playing. That's where talent and group cohesion come in and Eternal Tapestry displays both in spades on The Invisble Landscape.
Temporal Starshine Voyage
Edition of 400 on mystery colored vinyl. A steal at $13.