Rand and Holland: s/t tape (A Guide to Saints, 2015)

August 8, 2015 at 7:34 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Rand and Holland: s/t tape

Rand and Holland: s/t tape

This is a posthumous tape by an Australian folk/post-rock band who disassembled in 2011. Opening instrumental “Cobra” gradually layers slow-moving guitars and drums, and at its beginning, it strangely resembles a slowcore cover of Jaydee’s “Plastic Dreams” by Jozef Van Wissem, if that makes any sense. It progresses and moves into something else though, and while it threatens to get a bit heavier in the last 2 minutes, it stays pretty steady (and gorgeous) for its 7 minutes. “Walking the Plank” starts out by finding singer Brett Thompson waking from a morphine haze, saying that his head’s ok, but a few minutes later it gets bashed in with drums and keyboard. “The Plague” starts out sounding relatively jaunty, with an agreeable guitar riff and softly pounding drums, but then he sings about bringing out your dead. The second half of the song gets more abrasive and aggressive, ending up with some swarming violin attacks. It all unravels even more from there. “My Halo” is a really nice blanket of droning fuzz, but then halfway through it starts to get pitched down, melting into some sort of grotesque sound blob. The second side of the tape is taken up by “Old Crow”, which starts out as a fairly inconspicuous folk ballad, but after a few minutes of sparse guitar plucking and vocals, it gets enraptured into a full-band frenzy with uptempo drums and strings, and then it gets stuck into a pattern of slowly crashing and fading out and back in and then crashing again, and continually repeating for nearly 20 minutes, with each successive attack becoming slightly deadlier and more vicious, even as they don’t change all that much. There was nothing else this band could’ve possibly done after this than fall apart.

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