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Saturday, May 20, 2017

Album Review: Queen Elephantine - Kala

With a production value as rough as a hangover, Queen Elephantine cast a little one-take stardust over their music. It’s lo-fi and dissolute. Hearing them recorded can’t be far away from the aural experience of seeing them live. Feedback and fuzz are their friends. Farting sub-bass is a constant bedfellow and hissing snare is their heartbeat.

In opener, “Quartered” they thrust together a visceral, spiked form of electro-punk and staple it to the slow drift of melancholic doom. Think of a heavy-lidded, tripping version of Bleach-era Nirvana and you won’t be far off. The two-chord attack of “Quartz” (and twin “Deep Blue”) takes us a step further by introducing yawning vocal stabs with spasmodic bursts of guitar. The mid-track drop into a maudlin build lets the bass rumble play on alone to really dig out a groove.

Elsewhere, the tribal toms of “Onyx” lay the rhythm for a slow-burning psychedelic jam: sliding, trundling, chaotically pulsing and phasing with discordance, chaotic input and abstract warmth. A kind of loose-seated Weedeater with added feedback. To finish, the marvellously-titled “Throne Of The Void In The Hundred Petal Lotus” is a sedate, amorphous sludge oozing its way down a blood-red river clogged with writhing, pain-racked bodies and in through the gates of Hell.

What you’ll find is so stripped, so devoid of complexity, so unloveable and so unrefined that it offers little beyond that initial impact of rediscovering the thrill of the avant-garde; the early flush of youth where quality mattered little. If lo-fi doom is your bag, you’ll get a kick from this but you won’t cherish it for long.

Also online @ Ave Noctum = http://www.avenoctum.com/2016/11/queen-elephantine-kala-transcending-obscurity/

https://queenelephantine.bandcamp.com/album/kala
https://facebook.com/queenelephantine
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