Picture it: Northampton 2006. A team of blandly suited men in sunglasses stand at the threshold of Thurston Moore’s house. A second round of handshakes ensues, this time with a brisk air of departure. The men silently repair to a black van that reads UNIVERSAL on its side, and it disappears around the corner. Thurston calmly closes the door, turns, leans against it, and lets out a long breath. Then he goes, “YES!!!” Cut to Moore wiggle-dancing to “Into the Groove” on the sofa in his briefs, singing into a zucchini. This is, most likely, not how the distribution deal between Moore’s basement label Ecstatic Peace and Universal Records went down — but isn’t my version cooler? In any case, the deal has been awesome: now the world enjoys increased access to some really degenerate rock-influenced art-noise flotsam. Here’s some of the latest:
Hush Arbors, “Follow Closely”
Ecstatic Peace will release Keith Wood & Leon Dufficy’s Hush Arbors debut for the label (though they’ve released dozens of records and tapes over the past 10 years) on October 21 — and fans of occasionally gnarly psych-folk à la Six Organs of Admittance and Vetiver should report directly to this preview track.
Religious Knives, “Basement Watch”
There’s little question what kind of door Religious Knives are referring to with the title of their upcoming (October 14) album, The Door. I put it on and my speakers started leaking little plumes of Nag Champa. Here, members of Double Leopards and Mouthus ride the snake all the way to the ancient lake atop smoldering organs, hot guitars, and Maya Bernstein’s mindfuck monotone.
Awesome Color, “Eyes Of Light”
Awesome Color might be one of the most aptly named bands ever. “Eyes of Light,” off their stepped-up sophomore release Electric Aborigines, is a swirling vortex of white noise, fiery psych-rock, drug drones, and flickering lickage. It’s sure to be a highlight of their September 23 show at the Middle East upstairs.
Black Helicopter, “Golden Days”
Boston’s own Black Helicopter are hard at work mixing and mastering their forthcoming as-yet-untitled full-length to follow up 2006’s Invisible Jet. Here, they may seem a bit more pleased with the world, but they still sound intent on putting a big crack in its core.