Bad Luck: Four (Origin, 2018)

August 12, 2018 at 7:05 pm | Posted in Reviews | Leave a comment

Bad Luck: Four

Bad Luck are a Seattle-based duo consisting of drummer Christopher Icasiano and saxophonist Neil Welch, who also handles electronics. Together, they have an interstellar sort of chemistry comparable to Chicago Underground Duo, along with some of the prismatic firebreathing of Colin Stetson. This is easily much darker, stranger, heavier, and spacier than what you might normally expect from a release on Origin Records. The saxophones multiply, scatter, and form an all-pervading mist while the drums push everything forward, yet also sometimes break down and enter panic mode. On the extended “R.B.G.”, the duo seem to enter an elevated state. There’s very repetitive passages where they both seem caught up in the sound they’re creating, yet they can also switch and do complicated breakdowns in sync with each other. Following the foreboding drum roll of “Index” is “Capital”, which starts out a bit scattered and jumpy before gaining momentum and being pushed along on a massive wave of energy. “Bends” is another epic which starts out on a specific, inspired path, but then some other force seems to take over and the music drifts out of their control (but not in an aimless, meandering way). Final track “Big Sky” starts out sounding like it’s going to be a sort of comedown, but then it works its way up to enrapturement.

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