Friday, March 18, 2011

Disappears Makes Guider A Fuzzy Wonderment

DisappearsOne of the best things to come out of Chicago lately is the scuzzy hypnotic grooves of the Disappears. With nothing but heady, shoegaze guitars and a rhythm that rarely deviates from its naked essentials, they go one better than paying homage to the 1970s experimental krautrock scene. Disappears improves upon it without feeling a need to eschew the term.

It does everything you want the sound to do, with its post-psychedelic jamming, moody progressive rock, and experimental punkish pickups that trudge and chug along. It makes for some impressive music making, but plays even better live when the band breaks away from anything an audience might expect. They don't hold back.

An unapologetic experiment in propulsive sameness.

If anybody else would have put out Guider, it would have never worked. Compared to their first Kranky outing, Lux, Guider has narrowed to become even more incessant, especially in their delivery of the continuously even-handed nearly 16-minute long track Revisiting, cut in one take.

After being formed in 2009 by Brian Case (formerly 90 Day Men and currently The Ponys) and Graeme Gibson (formally Boas) who partnered to record the earliest songs written by Case, they added Jonathan van Herik (also Boas) and Damon Carruesco. When Gibson left to invest more time with The Fruit Bats, Case called Steve Shelley (formerly Sonic Youth), never expecting him to join. Shelley did, adding even more allure to the solid lineup.

"The idea is to get something going. To get to where the music becomes physical almost," Case said in an interview last year. "We call it the bliss-out part of the song–everything is going and it's just happening."

I don't hear too many people say this outside the Beat Generation with jazz (and maybe Bardo Pond). But the Disappears don't just talk about it. They actually do it, sometimes in no time at all. Of the five shorter songs, Superstition is packed tightly in under two minutes. The shortness not only makes it a success, it also leaves everyone wanting more.

Superstition is one of a dozen examples of what Case means when he talks about trying to make these songs physical. The repetitive beats wash over, building and building until you want them to explode. They never do. They just build up the tenseness and flow from one track to the next.

Along with Superstition, Not Romantic and the title track, Guider, are among the strongest, all for their driving steadiness. Halo is okay and New Fast is tired. There are five more songs expected to be out soon, most of them played during their European tour in February. They will be releasing them (get this) on cassette before weeding out which ones will land on some future LP.

Guider Disappears In All The Right Ways With 7.8 On The Liquid Hip Richter Scale.

The Disappears is the kind of band you put on anytime you want to hear something that sounds like nobody else. Even from my own take that they're a little bit krautrock and a little bit punk, they really aren't any of it. They just play until they get "it."

You can pick up Guider at iTunes. Amazon has Guider and Barnes & Noble also carries the album. They will be playing Chicago on March 22. I'm watching for their next LP.
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