The new Woven Skull 10” comes in a sickly school-exercise-book orange sleeve with some lazy crap printed on the front. It’s not a good start. Their first LP proper, LAIR OF THE GLOWING BANTLING on Penske Recordings, was a compelling folk-psych-noise oddity – a high quality presentation of their work to date. Along with several previous lo-fi releases on cassette & CDR, it mapped out a logical sonic trajectory.
I don’t know what the personal or sentimental significance of this particular captured moment is to the band members but the recording sounds like ass. This is unfortunate. THEY WERE PEBBLES BUT I CALL THEM STONES is less folky and more cacophony, which in theory is a wonderful thing, but cacophony needs a certain level of production for it to be immersive and engaging – otherwise it’s simply irritating.
There are 4 improvised tracks here – The title track is an extended blast with what sounds like an annoying 6 year old with a bent tin whistle punctuating the background. IN THE BELLY OF THE BLOATED PEACH fares better with its mandola monotone and some auricular breathing room. On the flipside, CRUCIFIED ON THE TESSERACT IN ROTATION ABOUT A PLACE is based on a gradual throbbing build-up and is the high point of the record. FOUR IN EACH OF MY FOUR POCKETS is a final noise excursion serving diminishing returns.
I want to like it more than I actually do but the Tesco value range production is a disappointment. This sort of lo-fidelity is fine if it’s the first or second thing you release, but if you’re trying to flog carelessly recorded dirge pressed on vinyl as your 18th release, it basically says to the purchaser – we think you’ll buy any old shit.