Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Six Organs of Admittance

Shelter from the Ash
Drag City

The apocalyptic folk strum and drone that binds every Six Organs of Admittance record is hard at work on Shelter from the Ash. But what sets this record apart is that vocalist/guitarist Ben Chasny channels these elements into traditional song forms.

Chasny is the master of stripping the shiny happy aura of an acoustic guitar to draw out a dark, natural resonance. "Alone with the Alone" lays the groundwork for an album that is all about communion with the dark matter of the universe. The shorter song lengths break up the Six Organs experience into digestible pieces, and lyrics in "Jade Like Wine" and "Final Wing" carry more weight than any of Chasny's previous outings. Elisa Ambrogio's (Magik Markers) hushed vocals shadow Chasny's voice. Their layered chants capture chemistry that is bleak and elegant, and brings Six Organs' M.O. to a fine point.

--Chad Radford

Monday, January 21, 2008


Read & Burn 03
Pink Flag

Wire's chameleonlike transcendence of the post-punk cannon has always employed a militant policy of don't look back. That is, until the Read & Burn EPs materialized a quarter-century into the group's career. R&B 03 cuts the losses of Wire's spotty catalog of angular grooves and new-wave rubbish with a condensed hybrid of its many faces. Such Frankensteinian songcraft culminates in the alternating slow keyboard drones and staccato drumming of opening number "23 Years Too Late."

"Our Time" and "Desert Driving" expand into a slower, darker drift. This is the first peep we've heard from Wire in five years, and the time spent behind closed doors has served the group well. Read & Burn 03 is a captivating forerunner to whatever the group has in store, and all signs point to something much darker on the horizon.

--Chad Radford