steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion
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Mandragora Records

Genres: noise, psychedelic noise, guitar noise

Mandragora Records P.O. Box 936 Northampton, MA 01061

May 4 - May 11 2002

So ya like your noise, eh?  Ya like it hard; ya like it psychedelic?  And ya love those overdriven guitars, too, don't ya?   Well say hello to Crackhouse, then.   The magnificent duo of Erik Amlee and David Gilden recorded these five pieces of noise all the way back in 1989, and, by golly, they stand up perfectly well today.

Guitars, synths, samples, and all sorts of other bizarre sounds come together on this cool little album, released on the increasingly cool Mandragora label.   A plethora of moods are represented here - from the harsh and strident to the eerily calm.  "Leatherface," the second track on the album, starts off calmly, but then builds into a symphony of grating junk noise.  Fans of Mike Shiflet and his Noumena outfit will surely enjoy this.  The last track, "I'm Gonna Die," is somewhat different.  Using a spoken sample of the words "I'm gonna die," and combining it with all sorts of other grating noise, Crackhouse has created one of the most haunting noise pieces I've ever heard.

As good as those tracks are, though, nothing lives up to the bar set by "Black Light Discipline Room," the main attraction on this album.    Spanning the entirety of forty-seven minutes, the track bellows out mad layers of pedalized guitar noise - kind of like something Caspar Brotzmann would do, except with a more psychedelic bend.  By the end of it all, your entire body will feel numb.


Matt Shimmer