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Uterus and Fire

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Album Review

If minimalist punk group Flipper had incorporated the excesses of Pere Ubu, then created a hybrid of the Cramps' Lux Interior and the Make Up' s Ian Svenonius to sing vocals, this Old Time Relijun album would be the result. Vocalist/guitarist Arrington De Dionyso explores the guitar's fretboard in every non-standard method possible, whether it's detuning and retuning during the middle of a song ("Telephone Call"), sounding like an uncontrollable factory machine ("Giant Boat"), or picking the guitar strings near the bridge to create piano-like noises ("Broken Water"). Along with drummer Phil Elvrum and bassist Aaron Hartman, the band destroys any preconceived notions of what rock is supposed to be. They take a metallic, simplistic, and chaotic approach, where instruments sound as if they're melting (the bass at the end of "Johnny Appleseed") or dying (the bass clarinet in "Broken Water"). The group even manages to explore free-form noise ("Hot Oven") that puts the Stooges' "L.A. Blues" to shame. The album would be an all-around success in noise rock if not for a two-and-a-half-minute Jew's harp solo ("Khomuz") and a drawn-out acoustic guitar/vocal ditty ("Office Building"). Fans of no-wave punk, or experimental renegades like Captain Beefheart, should take note of this record.


Genre: Alternative

Years Active: '90s, '00s

In January 1995 guitarist/vocalist Arrington de Dionyso was encouraged by the musicians that became Old Time Relijun to assemble a group to perform the compositions that he was writing. The group subsequently signed a recording contract with K Records and released two full-length CDs with the label. Between 1989 and 1995, de Dionyso recorded nine cassettes of homemade music on his four-track recorder, releasing each one on his own label, Pine Cone Alley. De Dionyso played the lion's share of the...
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Uterus and Fire, Old Time Relijun
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