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For The Great Slave Lakes

Mouthus

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Album Review

Mouthus' entry in the Modern Containment series on Three Lobed Recordings starts off with a harsh electronic whoosh before shifting into a groaning blast of power electronics and noise accentuated by what sounds like a series of cymbal hits and muffled percussion courtesy of the planet Tharg. Gentle bliss-out this isn't. On the album's seven tracks, Mouthus pursues this general combination in various means, with vocals so completely indecipherable (if still distinctly audible, just) that it's almost like For the Great Slave Lakes could be considered the ultimate anti-folk album — instead of direct vocals and acoustic guitar, everything is pitched completely in the opposite direction. The closest point of comparison might actually be the Flying Saucer Attack-related band Light, though that was a much more restrained and formal proposition all around. The same sense of shadowy, gloomy distance is at play, though, only here the most extreme sounds are featured rather than a kind of soothing wash of restrained psychedelia. Some songs are almost more formal or traditional in form, such as "Crosses Shape" with its near Skullflower-like trebly, constantly ascending squall, and the almost apparent verse/chorus structure of "The Harbors Taken." Meanwhile, "Your Land as a Nation" strips back most of the howling chaos at the start to bring the percussion to the fore for the first time on the album, feeling like an alien tribal broadcast from beyond. "Compound My Eyes" ends the album on an almost mantra-like note, repeating a key rhythm constantly to become its own way of extreme meditation.

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

Combining the effects-heavy guitar excursions of Brian Sullivan with the free jazz stylings of drummer/percussionist Nate Nelson, the Brooklyn-based Mouthus utilize a combination of dense instrumentation and squelching, overloaded noise to create a sound that ranges from dark and ambient to piercing and tortured. Through a string of CD-R and vinyl releases, the duo has distinguished itself in what is arguably the hub of noise/experimental music on the East Coast, becoming a regular fixture at the...
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For The Great Slave Lakes, Mouthus
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