3

Ches Smith and These Arches: Hammered

Mark F. Turner By

Sign in to view read count
Drummer, composer, and bandleader Ches Smith is an artist with indisputable abilities who thrives on the fringes whether supplying tight rhythms for notable musicians such as guitarist Marc Ribot, saxophonist Darius Jones, and the indie rock band Xiu Xiu, or creating self-produced works like his solo multi-instrumental electronic project Psycho Predictions (Preposterous Bee,2012).

One of Smith's working bands is These Arches, a group of like-minded artists that provide plenty of forward thinking music in Hammered, the appropriately titled follow-up to 2010's Finally Out Of My Hands(Skirl Records). From start to finish, Smith's eight "tunes" deliver a sonic maelstrom of tonal contours and interchanging themes which are filled with intensity and chaotic movements.

Heavyweights Tony Malaby and Tim Berne express their saxophones in a variety of screeches, growls, and piercing runs on the opener "Frisner" and the title track where Smith's free-jazz/ rock attitude is in full bloom. Its "garage band" appeal is thick with a stomping backbeat, an array of cool effects from guitarist Mary Halvorson and Andrea Parkins's rustic accordion intonations.

The music is at times disconcerting and makes no qualms about its brash intent, although the quieter theme of "Limitations" allows a brief moment of respite. Turbulent winds begin to stir again in the unsettling "Learned From Jamie Stewart" which was originally penned for the band Xiu Xiu and a rave-like party ensues in the boisterous "Animal Collection" before the set closes with "This Might Be A Fade Out" highlighted by a memorable solo from Smith.

These diverse sounds collide and coalesce, blurring the music lines between improvisational and not-so-mainstream music. Smith states the origin behind these peculiar selections, "They're sort of rock reject tunes, and that gave a shape to the whole record." Like the sentiments of the 1997 rap song by the Shop Boyz, Ches Smith and These Arches "Party Like a Rock Star" with Hammered albeit in totally different ways.

Track Listing: Frisner; Wilson Phillip; Dead Battery; Hammered; Limitations; Learned From Jamie Stewart; Animal Collection; This Might Be A Fade Out.

Personnel: Ches Smith: drums, percussion; Tony Malaby: tenor saxophone; Tim Berne: alto saxophone; Mary Halvorson: guitar; Andrea Parkins: accordion, organ, electronics.

Title: Hammered | Year Released: 2013 | Record Label: Clean Feed Records

Tags

Watch

comments powered by Disqus

Shop for Music

Start your music shopping from All About Jazz and you'll support us in the process. Learn how.

Album Reviews
Read more articles
The Bell

The Bell

ECM Records
2016

buy
Hammered

Hammered

Clean Feed Records
2013

buy
 

Finally Out of My...

NuBOP RADIO-iTunes(internet radio)
2011

buy
Finally Out Of My Hands

Finally Out Of My...

Skirl Records
2010

buy
Unrock Series 21.01.2010

Unrock Series...

Unsound Recordings
2010

buy
Congs for Brums

Congs for Brums

Free Porcupine Society
2006

buy

Upcoming Shows

Date Detail Price
Aug25Sun
Anna Webber Septet
Congress Saalfelden
Saalfelden, Austria

Related Articles

Read Migrations Album Reviews
Migrations
By Dan McClenaghan
June 25, 2019
Read Samba Azul Album Reviews
Samba Azul
By Mackenzie Horne
June 25, 2019
Read Blue Waltz - Live at Gustavs Album Reviews
Blue Waltz - Live at Gustavs
By Jakob Baekgaard
June 25, 2019
Read Deep In The Mountains Album Reviews
Deep In The Mountains
By Chris Mosey
June 25, 2019
Read Phoenix Rising Album Reviews
Phoenix Rising
By Jack Bowers
June 24, 2019
Read Last Works Album Reviews
Last Works
By Doug Hall
June 24, 2019
Read The Change Album Reviews
The Change
By Roger Farbey
June 24, 2019