Tzadik label chief John Zorn has never lost his passion for hard-core music. Although his band Naked City is no more, he continues to promote artists who, to quote Allen Ginsberg, are "destroyed by madness, starving hysterical naked, dragging themselves through the negro streets at dawn looking for an angry fix." The band Ahleuchatistas certainly does know how to Howl.
Of The Body Prone is the fifth CD release by the band and follows Same And The Other a reissue by Tzadik of a 2004 out-of-print disc. The band consists of guitarist Shane Perlowin, bassist Derek Poteat, and drummer Ryan Oslance, the newest member of the band.
Their music shares qualities with multiple genre and bands from Robert Fripp and Captain Beefheart, to perhaps Ahleuchatista's closest relative Fred Frith/Charles Hayward/Bill Laswell's band Massacre. Their instrumental rock is punk (but with virtuosity), speed metal (with imagination), prog rock (without boundaries), and improvisation (with caffeine).
This take-no-prisoners music is purposeful virtuosity. Perlowin's guitar writes math equations on "Owls" while the band swaps directions and speed. While they do not employ the Naked City jump-cut approach to music, their turns are more of pace and tone than genre. The marching drums of "Those With Guns" signal Perlowin's guitar effect and some heavy/light bass from Poteat.
The awe-inspiring wizardry of such tunes as "Eastside Upright" are fitting counterpoint to the quieter effects-laden tracks like "Dancing With The Stars." Here, the squiggling guitar confronts the woolly and bouncing bass line. Same for the "Total Nightmare In A Deep Dive" a sort of Ennio Morricone soundtrack to an apocalyptic film, where Perlowin's guitar strums simple notes over Oslance and Poteat's total destruction of sound ala The Haters.
Yes, the end is near and this is a great place to start.
Personnel: Ryan Oslance: drums; Shane Perlowin: guitar; Derek Poteat: bass.