Thursday, September 8, 2011

Album Review - Hotel Wrecking City Traders & Gary Arce LP, Bro Fidelity Records

This is a new one for B.A.N, can't say we had come across this band before and new discoveries are always a joy. According to their facebook info:

Hotel Wrecking City Traders (HWCT) have been dislodging earwax, busting strings and sticks and blowing minds since 2007. HWCT are an instrumental noise rock duo with a heavy focus on improvisation and a love of loud volume and the psychedelic.

Nothing I don't like about that! So, let's have a listen to this record, a collaboration between Melbourne, Australia's HWCT and Gary Arce of Californian experimental desert legends Yawning Man.

Track one, the beautifully named “Coventina's Cascade”, begins with all the gloom of traditional doom conveyed in the drums but with reassuring atmospheric guitar beneath. Right from the outset, a luscious soundscape is created. A filthy undercurrent of noise from guitarist Toby builds and builds some more to raise the tension, matched by the increasing intensity of the drums. Just after the four minute mark, we change directions and enter into an Isis-like driving section before it all falls down before the sixth minute, with short shotgun bursts led by drummer Ben. After which a slow, easy groove is laid into and the bass is allowed to guide the undercurrent and the ambient lead guitar displays a greater 'prettiness', even incorporating some rockabilly style bends and slides. This leads us through to the conclusion of this track.

Traverse of the Oxen” opens with some mysterious guitar sounds, the likes of which Mike Oldfield wouldn't turn down. The drums take it nice and handy for the first while, letting the suitably dissonant bass line set the scene. The guitars burn away slowly underneath it all as they did in 'Cascade', really coming to the fore between the third and fourth minute, following the now radically changing drums for guidance. All the while the ambient lead guitar never stops, shedding colour on everything that is going on. The bass at this stage has become heavier and heavier, and at about six minutes in, an identifiable riff can just about be heard. Tension builds sharply at the seventh minute and then gradually drops to a fitting end, the noise maintained a little longer by the fellow instruments in a Melvins style 'it's never going to end!' moment.

Don't ask me why but I've been in a good mood for all things long, ambient and heavy the past few weeks, so these guys appeared in the Nihilist inbox at just the right time! It doesn't take a genius to foresee that a genre that concentrates on long, jammy instrumentals runs the risk of becoming boring, so it's a very good thing when a record like this is put out into the world. Taking all the best elements of experimental ambient rock and mixing it with the noisy energy of HWCT. All personnel involved have made two tremendous pieces of music, and this blogger has made two beautiful new discoveries in HWCT and Yawning Man.

Hotel Wrecking City Traders and Gary Arce LP.
Rating: 7/10
For fans of: Yawning Man, Isis, the more Contemplative Kyuss.

Get your copy here:

For a little of HRCT in their two piece ferocity:

Or a little taste of old Yawning Man:
Edward Gerard Brophy,

No comments:

Post a Comment