Little Women: Throat (2010)
Little Women spans the divide between the primitive and the sophisticated in a manner that's true of so few. For this, its second release, it's useful to offer pointers such as Albert Ayler and Peter Brotzmann (whose "Machine Gun" is particularly pertinent in terms of sonic assault), but they serve merely to place what this quartet does. This is, in short, statically visceral music with an agenda of its own.
In view of the band's assertion that this is a program designed to be listened to in one sitting, it seems a little impertinent to discuss highlights. The seven tracks that make up "Throat" seem a little arbitrary in view of the overall discontinuity of the release, but in as much as this is music which has no time for a lot of preconceptions, that might be an inherent part of the band's intentions. The opening is where the Brotzmann reference comes into its own, but before the piece is over, the music's headlong rush is reminiscent of a band called Truman's Water, whose take on guitar rock is as singular as anything here.
The third part is shot through with off-the-wall humour, with the music's headlong momentum simultaneously in thrall to the moment even while the sonic assault goes on. Jason Nazary's drumming, buried in a mix which serves above all else to depersonalise individual contributions, monkeys around with meter while Andrew Smiley on guitar shows himself to be a shredder of the type for whom the riff is something to be avoided at all costs, perhaps because it signifies only an established order that has long since outlived its capacity to shock.
"Throat IV" is as close as the music gets to reflective. The wired nobility of Darius Jones' alto sax and the tenor sax of Travis Laplante seems entirely at odds with the group's aesthetic but when the exposition evolves to take in the whole group, the level of interplay is such that the mood is maintained even while Smiley and Nazary get relatively hyperactive. By the time the track closes out however the effect is of static music purged of any meaning outside of the primal.
In view of what's preceded it, the vocal noises of "Throat VII" are a little anomalous. The collective gives 'throat' more to feral utterance than primal scream but this serves the purpose of taking down the density of the rest of the program, as if the band appreciates how difficult it is to get reconciled with dull reality.
Track Listing: Throat I; Throat II; Throat III; Throat IV; Throat V; Throat VI; Throat VII.
Personnel: Darius Jones: alto sax; Travis Laplante: tenor sax; Andrew Smiley: guitar; Jason Nazary: drums.