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Bizarre. - 50%

caspian, November 27th, 2008

As with many a drone band, it’s in the live situation that Earth come alive. But like many a drone band, capturing the immense volume and power of a live, amp-melting setup is a difficult one. Earth seem to do a ok job here, although overall this is a ‘fans only’ sort of release.

It’s always a bit surprising just how far ahead these guys were ahead of their time; surprising that these guys actually thought about making this kind of stuff, surprising that there was an audience and record label for it. I find “Ripped on Facist Ideas” to be completely inaccessible in all of it’s bizarre random guitar notes and feedback now; must’ve been totally bizarre 15 years ago! While “Geometry of Murder” is a fairly predictable doom-y tune (at a relatively upbeat tempo) and is more about massive Sabbath riffs then anything avant garde there’s some stuff here that’s pretty far out. “German dental Work” is a puzzling but still terrific tune; sounding like some Godflesh with the guitars two octaves lower, before things break out into a more droney but still really-bizarre-for-the-early-90s trance riff. Probably the best track on here, despite the awkward attempts at drum programming . A real crusher of a song!

It’s not all huge doom though. Divine and Bright could be some sort of grunge outtake (complete with a drugged up Cobain adding vocals) with a really muddy guitar tone, and Dissolution I gets some fuzzed out, country stoner riffing and welds it to some sort of industrial backbone, before getting stranger and darker on us. These two songs are particularly bizarre and not particularly good, more of curio value for the Earth fan and those who really want to hear some of the strangest, most drugged up stuff you’ll ever find.

Indeed, maybe these guys didn’t have a boner for John Cage or 60’s minimalism and just really, really loved to take drugs and write stoned, incompetent dirges. However some of this record is pretty excellent; it can’t be denied that Earth really knew how to summon up a fearsome wall of noise, and their pioneering spirit has to be admired, at least. Get this if you’re a big Earth/drone fan, everyone else will likely really hate it.