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Monster Of The Absolute

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Album Review

It's an extremely appropriate title, evocative of vast distances and looming power — a sense of space and energy perfectly appropriate to a band like Paik to begin with, but especially so here. The rapturous sonic violence that defines the band at its best is fully in place throughout the shorter but not-a-note-wasted Monster of the Absolute, and if no record can capture the sheer intensity of their live shows, this is one heck of a great souvenir regardless. Bookended by an "Intro" and "Outro" that appropriately sound like a rocket taking off and then continuing to head out to the stars, Monster's five core tracks range from the explosive to the hypnotically droned out — not surprising per se, but that's no problem given the quality of the end results. If anything, the smear of sound that Paik can create is the signature throughout — without specifically trying to sound like prime My Bloody Valentine, say, a song like "Phantoms" or the more gently ambling (at least initially) "October" relies on murky riffs and similar effects to create a charged, exultant sound, a parallel rather than a tame copycatting. The instrumental focus of the band provides a further distinction — a song like the title track is based around something to jam on and repeat rather than a verse/chorus structure, building into a majestic midsection that feels like a long, slow sunrise over distant mountains. This is where Ryan Pritts' work on drums is key, often providing a rolling punch that suggests much earlier Detroit forebears (something that his and guitarist Rob Smith's current massive fro hairstyles happily help to confirm). If there's a key point to Paik, it's a simple but astoundingly effective one, namely that a "traditional" three-piece lineup can create music that sounds otherworldly; Monster shows that they've still kept that focus in mind.


Formed: 1996

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Paik formed in 1996 when guitarist Rob Smith, bassist Ali Clegg, and drummer Ryan Pritts began to collaborate in Michigan's burgeoning space rock music scene. The trio released their debut, Hugo Strange, in 1998 on Beyonder Records. In 1999, the Spacer EP was released, again on Beyonder. In 2001, Paik released Corridors, their most ambitious record to date. The band contributed tracks to two compilations, including Noise Factory Records' Beautiful Noise...the Apocalypse in 1999 and Datacarbon Records'...
Full Bio
Monster Of The Absolute, Paik
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