Grey Daturas CD reviewed by Luc Rodgers
Mar 27, 2009, 02:13
GREY DATURAS Return to Disruption CD
“Beyond and Into the Ultimate,” the first track off of Grey Daturas's Return to Disruption, has an almost bouncy feel, something striking for a release on Neurosis's label, Neurot Recordings. While the bass and guitar hold a steady note, some of the tracks come with Fugazi-esque sixteenth note freakouts while others stay comfortably on the downbeat of a slumbering giant, all together forming an impenetrable fortress of evil noise. Building and building to what seems to be birthing an apex of shocking heights, everything falls apart to wander off in its own direction. Fair enough, it seems, as this is only the first track in what promises to be quite the ferocious, fanged ghost.
After the title track (an homage to what sounds like a locomotive must sound like being disassembled) carries in the equally bombastic “Balance of Convenience” it appears that we have a rollicking and brave instrumental/sludge/noise album. As everything electronic seems to start screaming into heavily distorted mics, everything seems to unravel, and not for the best, as it falls sleepily into “Answered in the Negative.” Improvisation is nothing new, as we all know, and it's possible to do some incredible and incendiary things to the senses (see Ghost's Overture: Live in Nippon Yusen Soko 2006, Drag City, 2007). It is apparent that footing was lost and needed some re-grounding as now the listener is subjected to a drone, not unlike the first few only that the anticipation and excitement are both absent. As the drums revert to a simple intro into nothing, the waves mimic an ocean without a living creature or even liquidity. This is neither new nor progressive, it is merely an intoxicated Yo La Tengo circa '82 that just needs to turn off and go to bed already.
Hoping for the best, the click count into “Undisturbed” brought about laughter. Why the need to click into metal scraping violins andâ€¦wood? More metal? Vocal chords? There is a lingering tom nestled in the back attempting to steer this maelstrom into a thunderstorm of sorts but no one's picking up the cue or the blame. Directionless and mediocre, the skip button suddenly becomes the greatest achievement of the 20th century.
The following “Demarcation Disputes/Unity” and “Neuralgia” fail to bring everything back together in what would be a monumental save for what began as a good album. This, unfortunately, does not happen and the eyes and mind continue to wander and forget that Return to Disruption is even playing.
With a long history as a group (nearly seven years) and a seemingly relentless touring schedule (sharing the bill with the likes of Clockcleaner (skull rock! Fuck yeah!) and, er, Saul Williams (?) a lot more is expected from them. Two good songs out of seven isn't bad for a manufactured pop band; with improvisation it has to be all guts and glory or everything will fall apart eventually.
I want to help this band, so let's reassess why you are doing improvisation in the first place. Artistic freedom? Good, but you have to exercise (it is posted on their website that they do not rehearse). Laziness? Do something else. You truly enjoy your bandmates and love what comes out? Again, rehearse. You're better live? Only release live albums and not ones, like Returnâ€¦ that take fifteen months to record. [Neurot]