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9 June 2010

Burning Star Core/Comets on Fire (Yik Yak)

This collaboration between one of the mid-decade's underground stars and an ascendant Burning Star Core lineup of C. Spencer Yeh and Robert Beatty was clearly recorded in one long, fun session and sliced onto vinyl for the listening public to enjoy. The recording quality is a murky, overblown mess which is part of the appeal for Comets on Fire fans, though I must admit that I always prefer my Burning Star Core more Hi-fi'lutin. Side one is all crunch, driven around a raven riff that could be the Son of (Edgar Winter's) 'Frankenstein'. Some press referred to this as Hawkwind-esque, which I can see, though I must admit my knowledge of Hawkwind is surprisingly thin. But this isn't space-rock - it's very grounded, earthy, and and geological. Side two has a more chug-chug feel, revving up into the aggro-boogie that I associate with Comets on Fire, and you also get a little more breathing room for the electronics and (I guess?) violin of Burning Star Core. There also appears to be vocals in there, perhaps a taste of Yeh's predilection for odd-throat soundforms. The drums are thunderous but the midrange is so blown out that you can only really feel the kick and hear the cymbals flittering about. I'm not sure if the recording quality benefits this, because then it becomes some aesthetic statement, or if it compromises it. It runs at such an intense level that there's little dramatic impact, but it's also awesome to follow the piercing electronic tones that cut through everything and whizz and dance around like fireflies.

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