I?m not sure why I have such a drive to review this Gallows album right off the bat. I got a lot of albums over the past week that I?ve wanted to write about, but this unexpectedly shot to the top of my list. It usually takes a monster to get me so quick to the keyboard. Well, this isn?t exactly a monster album. The CD contains forty-plus minutes of electronics and feedback investigations through stasis and repetition of crystalline and haze-tones that has gotten a few repeats out of me. It is not very eager to impress (a good thing) and requires a bit of patience to experience completely (not always a good thing.) For this, its results are modest. But don?t get me wrong, this is a nice album well worth the paltry five bucks it?s worth. Perhaps the super-limited edition of 24 made me more anxious to get my thoughts written down before the CD-R becomes a distant memory. Come on, No Horse Shit. Twenty-four! Yes, every album comes with uniquely colored paper and hand-painted covers (I got the pretty pink promo copy with flowers as the background to a blackened figure swinging by the neck) so a limited-edition is in order, but more people than your friends need to hear this work. Oh well. If twenty at a time means packaging and product stays within a consistent quality, I wouldn?t want to demand a whole lot more effort out of this young label if the work suffers.
Pay attention here because there is not a whole lot of sound to critique so if one element sounds a bit off, well, you may lose about twelve minutes of enjoyment. The ten-minute opener sounds like a piece Growing may have squeezed-out for ?Color Wheel? but had they focused less on warmth and dynamism of their drone spires and given more appreciation to the zone in which these sounds dwell. The Gallows track sounds great leading off this album which turns much more subdued from here.
The second track dangles a microphone into an aggravated electro-field ready to rip feedback through your weak heart. But Gallows manage to keep its lazy sway within a safe zone only grazing the boundaries of danger and creating fragments of singing white light to be studied for a long stretch. Midway in, the track submerges and turns to a seven leagues deep hydrophone field recording as the bass pours in and wraps the clarity of feedback into rich gauze for the duration.
The final piece floats upon a light-and-dirty bass note that slowly growls and oscillates in volume. Clanks and dings add a bit of a percussive element to the sound sources which complement the dullness of the electronics well. As with many of the good sound experiments being produced these days, the mixture of high and low tones compliment one another well and work to enrich a palette that can be otherwise tedious if separated. I love how the sounds get chopped-up in the final half, creating a little abrasion, a hint of the melodic. Very nice touch. A very nice album. Get it while you can. 7/10 -- Kenneth Zubiate (15 May, 2007)