Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Rangda, Round Two

I've got a PopMatters on Rangda coming (it's done but in the pipeline), but meanwhile check out my review of the band's second album, up late last week at Blurt.

Formerly Extinct
(Drag City)

The last Rangda record, 2010's False Flag, was recorded just a couple of days after the band's three principals had their first practice session, a day max after the first time they played on stage. It was a rough, improvisational triumph, somehow melding the Richard Bishop's Eastern-tinged pyrotechnics with Ben Chasny's molten psychedelia, Chris Corsano's explosive energy with the two twining, exploring guitars. This second entry in the Rangda catalogue is altogether more premeditated, though still writhing with untamped power. It came after a month of East Coast shows, a day or two at Corsano's home to rough out songs and a full week of studio time at Jason Meagher's Black Dirt facility.

The songs are, consequently, more fleshed out and complicated, containing, in several cases, multiple movements and moods. "The Vault," for instance, starts in a blur-paced barrage of percussive picking, a batter and clash of chaotic drums, a bee swarm of noise and musical ideas that crowds sonic space right to the edges, everybody hammering at once. And then there's a break, and a slow, stately 1960s psych melody breaks out, two guitars moving in ritual accord, one frayed to breaking with dirt and distortion, the other ringing clear and luminous over it.


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