Album Review: The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol – ‘Live 2010 Dominion Tavern’
The Band Whose Name Is A Symbol, will need little in the way of introduction to regular readers of chromaticism.
For those of you who have somehow managed to slip through the cracks, or have been living in a cave, TBWNIAS – comprising, John Westhaver, Bill Guerrero, Nathaniel Hurlow, Jason Vaughan, Dave Reford, Miche Jette, and Jan Lis, are the undisputed ‘Masters of the Mole Hill’, formulating “8 years of pushing improvised psychedelia…to the masses.”
For those in the dark, they are Cana-duh’s best kept secret – for those basking in their reflected white light, white heat, they are one of it’s finest exports.
Back in the day, if you wanted to familiarise yourself with an exotic band, sporting a top-notch pedigree, the first port of call was always the killer live album.
Think, ‘Space Ritual’, ‘Live At Leeds’, ‘Kick Out The Jams’ and ‘Metallic K.O.’
Hell, as a committed TBWNIAS acolyte, even I almost wish I’d never heard of them, such is the rush when listening to ‘Live 2010 Dominion Tavern’!
“TBWNIAS sounds like Hawkwind meets Acid Mothers Temple with Krautrock, progressive and middle-eastern tones.” A matter of fact description from a matter of fact band, who live for the jam, in all it’s spontaneous, creative splendour…
Kicking off side one, ‘Sour Kraut’, opens with a palpable, electrifying frisson – even in tune-up mode, these guys eclipse most bands out there! The tension mounts, the ceremony begins, embarkation procedure engages, the motorik maelstrom engulfing all in it’s wake; Even the crowd interaction between songs, become intrinsic ingredients of the composition, auto-suggestive background flourishes of, ‘In A Lonely Place’ lending an air of solemnity, ‘Lonesome Cowgirl Jill’, belies her unrequited solitude, as this raucous backwoods party get’s underway, Jill has never been in better cowbell company; segueing seamlessly into side one closer – ‘Sunburst Finish’ extends this strung-out, insomniac’s delight, the languid tempo of this delicately laced trip, slowing the pace in readiness for the unfolding meteoric shower…
‘Raga Quotation’, delivers those “middle-eastern tones” in spades, this corkscrewing, dervish wig-out, will have you swaying in unison with the hushed, mesmerised audience; Next up, we are treated to a flash of the band’s punk roots, with the ‘Ottawa Gaga’ compilation track, ‘NST’, a blistering, free-form sonic assault, mind-melding and morphing into ‘Fender Bender’; Closing track, ‘Blues In Goddamn’, is all it’s title promises and more, a finger to “the man”, re-chanelled, courtesy of those legendary bluesmen, who kicked this whole fucking can into touch in the first place…
(Here is the original version of ‘NST’).
TBWNIAS are an elemental force of nature, caught here, out in the open, in their natural habitat, they excel in performance art. Their abstract expressionism, giving fully-fledged alchemist’s wings, to this aural flight of fancy.
This is the third excellent release by Drone Rock Records, the “Brighton based record label specialising in strictly limited vinyl pressings of fuzz, drone, and modern psych.”
‘Live 2010 Dominion Tavern’ is available for pre-order now via the Drone Rock Records Webshop, limited to 250 copies, 150 on grey vinyl with purple, green and orange splatters and 100 on grey vinyl.
As usual a great summing up and review. Can’t wait for the album to arrive, the only thing better than that would be the chance to see the masters going about their live work, I wish !!
You and me both!