Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Brown Jenkins

Angel Eyes
Moribund Cult

Fucking Austin Texas, man... they definitely have their own way of doing things over there. Within just a handful of releases, Umesh and his Brown Jenkins project, have, to this reviewer at least, an eye on the upper echelons of Austin aesthetic weirdo darkness up there with early Butthole Surfers at their most atonal and the 13th Floor Elevators at their most kerr-azy.

Like Loren MazzaCane Connors with a head full of Burzum and Celtic Frost or Junior Kimbrough and Sonic Boom jamming after burning down a bunch of churches and drinking blood, the music Brown Jenkins crafts for "AngelEyes" forcibly welds blues-based musical forms (along with a welcome dose of psychedelia) to the frigidly white black metal template. Thus, songs like the strutting "Black Procession" are music for the hips as much as the head - overloaded guitar riffs just thrusting and shaking in dirty one-chord lascivious simplicity.

As with previous album "Dagonite," "Angel Eyes" upsets the usual sonic arrangements of black metal, placing the drums far to the back (if not omitting them altogether) and using vocals as flourishes or punctuations (athough there's some real ferocity in "Angel Eyes") rather than narrative or confession, that leaves the guitar at front and center. Tarpit dark, corruscating sheets of thick sonic fuzz and broken glass - the tempos are codeine slow and steady, not like doom, mind you, there's definitely more of a groove here. That is, as much as it's possible for drug-crazed cannibals to boogie. Okay? The song titles are to die for. "Ash Eaters," "Pale Conqueror," "Seven - Joy in Darkness," and each spiralling tower of noise and fuck more than lives up to these sort of graven epithets.

Brown Jekins is the bastard hybrid of, say, Mudhoney's one-chord junksick garage raveups and Earth's labcoated tonal distortion explorations. Trust me, next year some dude from Rolling Stone or the New York Times is going to pick one of these platters up at South By Southwest and it's not gonna be our little secret anymore. So get moving.

- Matthew Moyer

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