Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Released as part of Conspiracy Records' 10th Anniversary 12 LP box set a few years back (probably one of the most gorgeous musical artifacts that i own), i wanted to review this one just to show a contrast to the AFCGT album highlighted a few days ago. Climax Golden Twins are the core duo of Jeffrey Taylor and Robert Mills, two world travellers (Robert is a regular contributor to Alan Bishop's Sublime Frequencies releases) and devoted collectors of all sorts of musical esoterica, most notably their dedication to old Victrola recordings and 78's, which they lovingly compile in their infrequent "Old Victrola" series, as well as use as source material for some of their own more musique concrete demonstrations under the CGT banner. They have made a career out of being totally impossible to pin down and categorize and, like most damaged wunderkind artists, are amazingly prolific, boasting more releases than i could ever hope to collect. This albums shows them working several sides of their multicolour rock prism, with one larger "found ambience" piece and a collection of divers songcraft running the gamut from cloudy drift psych to pummeling garage grindcore. It's some fucked up stuff, no doubt, but done with such a deft hand that it becomes mesmerizing, like some weirdo transmission from beyond the skies piping directly to you. The record starts out challenging, bowling you over with the ambient sample symphony, laden with all sorts of weird conversational snippets and backwoods philosophizin' and testifyin', with a big soupy bloated mess of tar-thick drone wobbling underneath. Hidden even deeper underneath all that is an angelic little wisp of airy melancholy, hovering around the edges, like dust puffing out from under the folds of an old blanket. IT's there, and its aching and the strain you put in to hearing it (because its so yearningly lovely you HAVE to hear it) is testament to this band's actual compositional complexity and mastery of emotional manipulation. It's a powerful, uneasily digestible piece and in no way prepares you for the record's remainder.
It starts out languidly enough, with a gentle acoustic guitar figure touching on both loneliness and melancholy, and then a massive, squealing distorting guitar barges and in and lets loose with a raging solo, wasting everything in its path and cracking out an acid fuzz lead that would make Greg Weeks cower under a pile of unused Espers songs. Things only get better and more damaged from there as CGT turn in psyched out ragers and tribal atavistic slabs of peyote drenched primitivism. You can almost hear the jackals howling in the night as the rips in reality begin to tear ever so slightly. The last three songs drill this psychedelic excess right in, starting off with a hardcore influenced dash of drum kit abuse followed by some sort of bastardized grindcore, like Enemymine filtered through Napalm Death's earliest worldviews. It collapses right into another tribal pounder, a five minute piece of rock deconstruction and guitar scratch that sounds like the opening to Van Halen's "Everybody Wants Some" taken to its breaking point. It all fades into a short piece of slightly delayed electric guitar lamentation, a drifty/floaty featherbrush of feigned innocence, the last trembling breath hinting at the true beauty that you've born witness to. CGT is like no one else and i highly recommend anything they do.

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