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Album Review

Century Plants – “Transmissions from the Outer Sun” – [Carbon Records]

carsonstreet   11/28/2022   A Library, CD

Century Plants is a shape-shifting drone and free improv duo featuring Ray Hare and Eric Hardiman. On the first track, recorded in 2011 in Albany NY, they are joined by Matt Weston on drums, and explore the free-improv corners of their sonic world with a combination of guitars, electronics, voice, and sparse percussion. The second track, recorded in 2022 in Troy NY, sees the duo expanding into a quartet with Mike Griffin on bass and Phil Donnelly on drums. This track builds into a mid-tempo psych-guitar-drenched epic with Ray’s echoing vocal wails. Albany’s (NY) Century Plants has deep roots in the noise, psych, improv, and hardcore scenes. The core group is Ray Hare (Deadline, Fossils from the Sun, Burnt Hills) and Eric Hardiman (Rambutan, Sky Furrows, Spiral Wave Nomads, Burnt Hills). The duo’s twin guitars + vocals are often augmented by a larger “sound system” of like-minded players for live actions, resulting in an intense mixture of noise, drone, dub, musique concrete, and blistering psych rock. If you need referents, recent gigs have conjured the ghosts of Hawkwind, Discharge and Suicide, all filtered through a unique prism. Hardiman and Hare have played together for over a decade as Century Plants and continue to play in Albany’s legendary psych rock unit Burnt Hills. 

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