Similar in vein to much of Davenport?s most recently released output, ?O, Too High Ditty For My Simple Rhyme? is a live recording that finds itself instrumentally on the freer side of this fine Wisconsin-based collective?s axis. With eight members taking part in this largely improvised piece, it?s far less dense and less realised than we might expect. Like the sole-survivors of a shipwreck slowly finding their way back to shore, the elemental forces acting as their only guide, the players acquiesce and accept the course that nature itself will provide them.
The tinkling of bells and chimes fade into an eerie harmonium drone, punctuated by communal percussive-clatter that builds into a furious tribal rhythm, while indecipherable Tuvan throat gurgles and howling lycanthropic incantations drive evil spirits back into the cracked-earth. There is a moment of reflection- a melancholic hillbilly violin laments and the sounds of vultures circling overhead fill us with the sense of something dying (physically or spiritually, we cannot be sure), but it?s not long before we are sucked back into the strange primal freakout with waves of oscillations, flutes and detuned-guitar twang added to the proceedings.
A genuine bona fide musical-exorcism that recalls some of Vibracathedral Orchestra?s liveliest moments and the most twisted American hoedown ever laid down to tape, listening to ?O, Too High Ditty For My Simple Rhyme? is like reaching into some of the darkest imaginable regions of the soul and after the music stops and the night is over, there?s a tremendous sense of being at peace with both yourself and your environs. 8/10 -- James Blackshaw (25 May, 2005)