Starving Weirdos. Starving Weirdos 'Rolled in the Midst of Never-Ceasing Currents Flowing Without a Rest Forever Onward'
Firstly, this is not for the faint-hearted, but fear not, this is not another noise record. This LP is something else altogether. This is a massive, glorious psychedelic din, a thick fog of dramatic sound events. Starving Weirdo's latest offering promises to enfold the listener who will experience the ecstatic grandeur of Anton Bruckner as much as the rich industrial drone of David Jackman. This is Lhasa in California - a world drenched in ecstatic thrills and intense ethereal exploration.
There are sounds, there are drones, there are rhythms and there are songs - a glorious concoction that moves in a vertical fashion. As we live today, in all this murk; all this twisted history and convoluted present, we can be thankful that these folks in California came together to create such a glorious record for all to bathe in. But this, like all good things, is limited and will not be around forever. Step in now or forever remain the great unwashed.
Into An Energy - When Merrick McKinlay and Brian Pyle played me the master tapes for this CD, I can't say I was surprised. These eight new pieces bore all the hallmarks of Starving Weirdos' greatest work: the dizzying mixture of instrumental sounds, electronics, and field recordings, the pointillistic attention to sonic detail, the duo's post-production technique, which achieves something like the aural equivalent of deep-focus photography. Yet there was something... different about this particular disc, and I couldn't quite put my finger on it. When I told 'em so, they just nodded and smiled in that aw-shucks manner of theirs. "That means we're doing something right," said Merrick.
On Into an Energy the duo is joined by occasional collaborators Steve Lazar and Greg Devaney for the length of the record, and perhaps their chemistry together accounts for the elusive shift in focus heard on these cuts. But the group dynamic is a dodgy matter with these guys, unless you happen to catch one of their live performances (good luck with that!) You see, even though Starving Weirdos routinely break out the rain sticks, the horns, the hand drums, the gee-tars, or the cup-and-ball, at its core their art is a kind of deep-forest-ghetto-musique-concrète. You can never tell if what you're hearing is a real-time performance or a product of copious editing and overdubbing, whether those sounds emanated from tapes or from live instruments, whether it occurred in a tangible three-dimensional space or in a virtual sound-card reality. Most of the time, it's a combination of all these, and the results are profoundly transportive, disorienting.
Yet while the Weirdos' song and album titles suggest an esoteric or spiritualist bent, their music is always reassuringly lucid, even earthy. Theirs is a mysticism grounded in the ordinary sounds of everyday life in their native Humboldt County, California, in the little ecstasies of common experience. At their best, Starving Weirdos achieve that, ahem, high romantic ideal: to make the familiar strange, and make the strange familiar, just as they do on this disc.
New York, NY