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30 July 2010

Burning Star Core - 'Everyday World of Bodies' (Ultra Eczema)

Who would have thought that Burning Star Core would release a record layered with references to 1994's post-hardcore/indie classic Rusty, by Rodan, a band that came from just down the river from Spencer Yeh's own Cincinnati? And you can hear the same hard/soft balance, between agressive and elegiac, even if on the surface, his Everyday World of Bodies is a world away from their chugga-chugga guitar anthems. But what do we, the listeners, get? Well, 'Shoot Me Out the Sky' begins the record with hiss, eerie voices, and unraveling tape noise. It's dense, but the clouds slowly overlap and let light through at just the right places. As the side goes along we never quite leave that fluttering insectoid feel, though there's more traditional singing than we've heard from Yeh to-date, and various layered unindentifiable field recordings. This might be the 'eclectic' BxC album, which shows his Nurse with Wound influence. This feels like a series of interrelated plateaus, a patchwork that overall blends into something cohesive. 'This Moon Will Be Your Grave' incorporates a very horizontal (yet wavering) electronic tone throughout itself and eventually blends into a glissando of crackling melodies. We get tortured, dying underwater vocals beneath what sounds like cymbals or maybe heavy machinery, and a whole lot of grabbing. But then suddenly we get a strangely rigid electric piano instrumental, by far the most clean, straight-ahead musical sketch I've ever heard from Yeh. Stuck right in the middle of this album, it feels like a bizarre interlude and gives the album a cinematic vibe. And of course the second it ends, we get violin scraping and noodling. Everyday World of Bodies ranges from lo-fi to the carefully recorded constructions Yeh is capable of -- and this mixed bag somehow works because of the way it's all blended together into a suite of six pieces. The man put out a lot of CD-R and cassette releases before the vinyl onslaught and this feels a bit like a throwback to those days (probably because of the mixed fidelity), but with the confidence and schizophrenia (not mutually exclusive terms, you know) that can only develop with time and discipline. Dennis Tyfus' usual intense artwork is here a giant fold-out two-sided moire-trance poster.

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