Album Review

Big Blood – “Radio Valkyrie 1905 – 1917” – [Feeding Tube Records]

Thurston Hunger   5/16/2013   12-inch, A Library

Behold a Russian author’s mystic reprieve? A lost Jodorowsky
soundtrack? No the latest full flight from a band that had me before
their very first drop (talking walking Cerberus Shoal blues). As much
as I dug the revelation of the earliest donttrustheruin CDRs this double
12″ drop from the fine folks at Feeding Tube sounds like a crowning
achievement. Plus the packaging captures the motif of those homespun
art project CDRs. More music from the family hearth and ancestral
meadow in Portland, Maine of Big Blood. Patient psych, drawn out
without being strung out, outside folk with swells of voice and rustic
guitar. Field recordings, home cassette memories and sleepy music
boxes drift in. “Secret Garden” could be some electrified caveman’s
proto lute or a slide sitar, Caleb Mulkerin untangles the notes well,
and retangles them when needed. Colleen Kinsella’s voice, inherently
so pretty and soothing, forsakes bouquets and garlands for a trek
through brambles and weedy overdubs. Each of the four sides here
hold a spiral of songs, no breaks other than psychic ones. Personalitles
emerge, demiurges splurge. Muse meets muse, inspiration ping pongs
back and forth, themes are born and reprised, children are born and
harmonizied. Flutes fly in on “Ice Swells” even when a vocal stays
the same, “Everything is Improving.” This duo knows their mantras,
and it appears many of the lyrics here are tight phrase reductions from
the writings of Yevgeny Zamyatin, It’s more about how they are sung
then the words themselves, and how they recur as the musical themes
do here. Whether they deliver rocking chair anthems knitting kaleidoscopic
blankets, or spooky lullabies for vampire children hanging upside
down on backwards guitar, or ballads for dissident phantoms from
EVP broadcasts, Big Blood bleeds a rainbow of beauty. Valkyrie Eleison!

-Thurston Hunger

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