How we rate: our writers tend to review music they like within their preferred genres.
Nearly every album by guitar whiz Elliot Sharp intimates a sound-shaping experience, loaded with surprises and ingenuity. His long-running Carbon band is primarily steeped in hardcore avant-garde rock mania, spiced with sizzling meltdowns and free-jazz style improvisation.
On "Fermion," the quartet launches a haunting sonic assault, which at times may seem like anti-pop morphed with metal-lite. Zeena Parkins' resonating electric harp lines project a tuneful yet ominous vibe, as the band delves into a minimalist-hued motif, followed by Sharp's powerful crunch chords and drummer Joseph Trump's peppy backbeats. Moreover, the band surges into a musical netherworld, abetted by Sharp's psyched-out and fuzz-toned melee attack, atop flickering electronics effects and rippling chord progressions.
"Fermion" duly highlights, in particular, Carbon's idiosyncratic aura; Sharp's modus operandi often residing somewhere between neo jazz-fusion, avant psychedelic rock and galvanizing free form expressionism.
Personnel: Elliot Sharp: 8-string guitarbass, guitar, soprano sax, electronics; Zeena Parkins: electric harp; Marc Sloan: electric bass, prepared bass; Joseph Trump: drums, percussion; David Weinstein: sampler, synthesizer.