Album Review

Mako Sica – “Essence” – [La Societe Expeditionnaire]

Thurston Hunger   3/7/2015   12-inch, A Library

Chicago trio, and 2/3 of Rope (who visited KJFC long ago,
check out our Live From The Devil’s Triangle Vol 7. Guitarist
Przemyslaw Drazek, whose searchlight guitar burned brightly
back then often sweeps areas here for minutes before exploding
into pysch-like bombast. An intriguing experimental player. He’s
not soloing per se, or running riffs at you as he creates huge
caverns of sound, additionaly on here, Drazek has added
trumpet playing, also bouncing it huge vats of reverb, and
more than happy to let a flurry linger in silence afterwards.
Instead of working off a base anchor, Brent Fuscaldo adds
guitar so in “Chain Leg” he might tap a blues round while
Drazek adds improvised shadows on top, scorching shadows.
Maybe the “Leg” is a reference to a form of blues born
of incarceration? This feels like Davis Redford Triad or
other psych rock mantra music, and that is accented by
Fuscaldo’s vocals which are primeval howls and baritone
bellows. There not so much pain, or metal monster moshing,
but maybe the anguish of ecstacy? The other man who had
enough Rope and is still here is Michael Kendrick, who while
he can unleash a kraut rock march into a volcano filled
with tom trills, is well attuned to when to lay off
the skinds and let these huge dark holes shine in the
three lengthy pieces. Of the three, the fool length
track “Fate Deals A Hand” was the most rewarding, diving
in and out of dynamics, starting with a sort of alap
and Kendrick on chimes, wind sweeping guitar and voice.
Eventually the mysticism summons Drazek’s trumpet, and
his playing echoes his guitarwork, I guess it’s his
personality caught in sound. That is the dominant force
at work here. There are times though when the band
sounds like The Who circa Keith Moon ere scoring a
free-rock-jazz take on the “Last Temptation of Christ”
-Thurston Hunger

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