RACCOO-OO-OON/WOODS: PRE-AMERICAN LANDS
Hmm: mainly listening to cassettes right now, but don't wanna bore ya, so we'll take a quick break to talk about "Pre-American Lands", a split el-pee by Raccoo-oo-oon and Woods:
Dig the red "feelin' lucky, punk" rabbit foot. Nice off-white marbled vinyl too, courtesy of Not Not Fun, y'all.
The Raccoo-oo-oon-ers shift from Great Plains geetar-wash to some beautifully hazy late-60s psych-organ moves: the drums are more kinda jazzier than I was expecting: the beats shift and bend like cornstalks in the wind until they get chased down into a sun-dapple'd hollow by a whole bunch of percussion and things turn into a brief-but-messssssy ruckus. Tuned backyard percussion and echoed duckcall skronk chase away some cats. Jeez, but the sp/ctre of Free Jazz gets summoned more'n once on this record. Nice collage-y effect as tracks cut out suddenly, becoming something else: flanged guitar spins slowly on its heels like an overweight teenage girl and the band creeps up behind it, one by one, hesitantly building a spacey bluesjam that bend(s) in the middle, again and again, and once more on the beat, like one of those kitschy 60s glass ostrich ornaments.
Later, metallic objects varispeed-ricochet in and out of some feedback. The drummer's drunk too much coffee. It's snowing milk-bottles. Modulated heavybreathing meets some drunken pixies singing in the basement. It's v. "Faust Tapes" for a while, and that's not a complaint. Must play this next time I'm pissed.
Turn over in yr sleep and Woods are a perfect compliment. Initially edgier, maybe, but they have the same playful post-Concrete sense of tomfoolery (Acidcrete?)...they scratch and niggle at their guitars; the hithats hissk and spaaaat all over the place like globules of hot fat. The guitar starts moaaaanin' like a fat middle-aged bloke w/ a beard who doesn't get out enough. The synth whooshes sound like his wife; she's unhappy and spiteful too; hates her job. A sax turns up and gossips over the fence with...a banjo? For a second, the neighbourhood goes all shimmery and soft, as if the buildings are vibrating to some impossibly-fast inner-clock...it's a mirage or maybe everything has a black and yellow aura. Sacred solarised skies of Corton Denham, 1963...wooden houses burning in the distance...I saw something in the sky once: it was made of metal, from tiny girders, and had an antenna...it wasn't a UFO; it was something else and it made me feel like this (you'll see it one day too)..."Candlesound 11" by Bandit Preacher Black...his guitar sound was so oval...too oval for me.
Now the sax-player sounds French (just for a moment). Tones are tossed & wobble around inside my head; they fly past my ears, back around them in spirals, doing tricky backflips, tying them up with spider-webs or reels of white cotton. Brooklyn never sounded so, so...
An ominous guitar-line uncoils. A metal dog appears. A Steel ghost. More scratching, itching...knitting-needle percussion. Someone blowing thru an exhaust-pipe. Random banjos in orbit.
The whole thing starts spinning and lifts off the ground. The drummer's trapped slap-dang in the middle of the whole darn thing, inside a little plastic dome lit by a baleful, pale yellow light. Cheap fairy-lights flash on and off around the rim. He's lonely in there, but he can't stop now; there's too much depending on him: if he stops, then the whole thing will...too late! I-it wobbles off-course colliding with some unconvincing plastic trees bought in a small railway-modelling shop on Hendford Hill, Yeovil, before skidding down a fake, badly-made copy of the West Coker Road built from damp cardboard egg-boxes painted grey by young pre-school children. "Y-you mean, we weren't actually ever in space?"
It's too late now, you idiot! The Indians are coming!
Lots of them.