Friday, June 29, 2007

GHQ/Ex-Cocaine


The sequel to the YS/Goslings split pairs the raga-fried trio (now quartet) GHQ with Montana stoner renegades Ex-Cocaine. GHQ is of course the all star group featuring Marcia Bassett of Double Leopards, Hototogisu etc., Pete Nolan of Magik Markers, Vanishing Voice, things that start with Spectre etc. and Steve Gunn of Moongang and Steve Gunn. Shawn Reed of the Night People label does the artwork. Side A shows the group in top form, the track was recorded live in Seattle and is justifiably titled “Live in Seattle”. Oh man, what a night it would have been to actually witness this sorcery. There must of have been some sort of portal that opened up in the venue or some shit cause I bet the all the concertgoers got a one-way ticket to dreamland or somewhere else even trippier. The craziest thing is this is probably partially if not wholly improvised! You can’t even really call it improvised because there are obviously some spirits guiding their fingers and voices. The trio is totally unified in one collective “om”. It’s just an all encompassing drone making 7 minutes into 2 minutes, guitars into smoke, a gross, sweaty room into a euphoric ritual experience. I don’t know man, it’s just something you have to hear or if yr a lucky one you already experienced it, because I don’t know if I mentioned it yet but this shit was recorded live!! Again, you just have to hear it, it’s like painkillers as music or praying as music or faith healing as music or any sort of thing that gives your body and mind that weightless feeling as music. Hear it, wear that shit out! (also while we’re on the subject of hearing, hear the Crystal Healing LP by GHQ on the Three Lobed label, their best full-length yet.)
On the flip comes Ex-Cocaine that totally go in the opposite direction as side A. The track is called “The Weather” which may or may not have some conceptual significance. This formation of Ex-Cocaine has the duo both bangin’ on bongos. I’m still kinda on the fence about drums-only songs. Didn’t everyone already agree that Nervous Cop was kinda a bad idea? Now I don’t want to imply that “The Weather” is bad cause it’s not. It’s got a few nice moments in its four minutes, and there are certainly a few cool not-traditionally drum sounds going on—at least I assume their coming from drums—with the regular bongo banging, it’s just that the track doesn’t leave much of an impression on me. It’s a bit of an intriguing style but as soon as its over its kinda just outta my head. But who knows, there are probably plenty of things wrong with my head. “The Weather” is an interesting direction for the Ex-Cocaine boys to go in but I personally prefer their guitar/bongos and double fuzz guitar set-ups.

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