This is a shit-weather album. The first time I gave it a spin, it was sunny outside and whatever this music does to get its hooks into my brain wasn’t quite happening. Something remarkable was evident, but a low-pressure zone was required to unleash it.
One Leg One Eye is a new project from Ian Lynch of Lankum. It bears all the hallmarks of a lockdown child in that it indulges interests in noise peripheral to and outside of that band’s current circumference, and experiments without the pressures of continuity or established trajectory.
…And Take The Black Worm With Me is an album that does whatever the hell it wants with gratifying frequency and occasional magnificence. This is predominantly a noise record, and like all enduring noise records, it finds a stylistic approach in idiosyncrasy, instrumentation and fresh ideas, sparing the world another 40 minutes of inane guitar feedback made by some grumpy metaller that worships someone else doing exactly the same thing.
The first track of the debut from any leftfield noise-based project is a mission statement and requires something substantial to make its case – a one-shot pitch to captivate. Glistening, She Emerges is a dense and textured overture, and makes a convincing case with its analogue imperfections and treated distortions of uilleann pipe drones. Some of the same elements that made From The Bogs Of Aughiska’s debut such an imposing record are here, and there’s also a dusty warbling to it that reminds me of some of the oblique tape experiments like Red Nettle that the Virgin Prunes conjured up.
Bold and Undaunted Youth is the sound of someone who has just been booted out of a social gathering for persistent unsolicited singing, so they’ve sulked off to a nearby industrial estate and found a willing audience in the rusty corrugated shreds, glass fragments and long abandoned apparatus. All of these elements create a logical symbiosis as the piece proceeds from sean-nós awakening a dead factory to industrial drone bombast.
I’d Rather Be Tending My Sheep is another piece for vocals and slow groundswell of droning texture. Euphonic minimalism and pastoral bleakness drive the ecosystem here. As with the previous track, this is based on voice, but the particulars of the lyrics are not necessarily something that I feel I should specifically pay attention to… This isn’t a negative – I catch different snippets on each listen and that’s more than adequate. It also inspires me to want to go see the goats on Howth Head on a crappy day, even though, truth be told, I’ve always been more of an alpaca person… I’ve never really been down with the sheep scene.
The Fancy Cannot Cheat So Well kicks in with looping textures and proceeds with the type of mystery percussive interjection and random grind that Hildur Guðnadóttir has mastered. And to wrap it all up, Only the Diceys goes somewhere slightly different. The vocal is still rooted in a traditional melody but the slow chord picking and heavily reverbed guitar is a musical backdrop straight out of the Twin Peaks Roadhouse.
There’s probably a lot here I’m missing in terms of referencing themes, intentions, contributions to layers and textures of individual tracks… some of these are mentioned in the accompanying blurb, but I’m more interested in this album as a mood piece and don’t want to go rehashing that or scraping away at components that were never intended to exist in isolation. In any case, the detailing serves repeated listening and there’s frequently something new lurking underneath the surface to discover.
…And Take The Black Worm With Me is an anomalous work of art. Its Lo-Fi recording methodology and singular approach to blending the seeming disparate is beguiling in all the right ways, but it’s probably best listened to alone to fully absorb what’s on offer. You won’t be spinning it at parties unless you hate people… which is another conversation altogether.
This is released by Leitrim based Nyaah Records on 27/10/2022 with a vinyl pre-order via Bandcamp opening on the same day.