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She Is Church - EP

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Album Review

Devin Sarno's first full album as Crib (aside from a self-titled cassette four years earlier) is a quietly impressive collection of pieces taken from both live and studio sessions. Focusing solely on Sarno's bass work, nothing more and nothing less, She Is Church makes for a strong, emotional experience, easily showing that his range of influences from the avant-garde classical and rock scene had a positive impact. A good comparison point for a number of tracks might be Lull's equally astonishing Cold Summer. There's the same sense of looming, sublime vistas and haunted, meditative atmospheres, post-rock in its truest form, abandoning conventional riff and melody for new results on a particular instrument. Sarno is even more stripped down than Mick Harris, though, his bass work consisting of low hums and the softest, slowest of further notes, all performed in one take. "Requiem" is arguably the best track of an excellent collection, with its combination of background drone and even more unsettling main motif, a dark howling note that comes to the fore every so often like a wail from a burnt-out hell. "Breath for One" takes a slightly warmer approach without sounding any less like Crib in general, its cyclic (if not specifically rhythmic) swells of speaker-shaking tones feeling both comforting and still just a touch alien. Besides the five main tracks, there are also some remixes of "Requiem" collected on the disc, though they are included after the final effort, the mighty fine "Translated Child," as hidden material. Both add percussion rhythms and loops here and there, neither, happily, compromising the integrity of the track (if anything, the work on the first remix often brings Main to mind). The second mix initially takes a slightly jungle-ambient approach, adding in tropical rain forest noises with sharp, solid electronic drum hits and synth for enjoyable results.

Biography

Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

Los Angeles-based musician Devin Sarno, whose principal instrument is electric bass, began Crib in the early '90s as an experimental solo project. His initial focus was on loud, experimental feedback approaches influenced by such notables on the noise scene as Merzbow and Masonna, which informed his initial series of singles, cassettes, and compilation appearances. He could also be found working with a variety of LA-based groups and performers, turning up on albums by Slug and That Dog. Towards the...
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She Is Church - EP, Crib
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