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Sunday, August 16, 2009

CD Review: MGR y Destructo Swarmbots! - Amigos de la Guitarra

MGR y Destructo Swarmbots! - Amigos de la Guitarra
2009 Neurot Recordings
Ray Van Horn, Jr.

When your thank you list includes "anyone that might find the inner strength to make it through this release," you can take it as a caveat. In this writer's personal opinion, there are two artists where this warning should be taken strictly to heart outside of the Top 40 and corporate rap sector (the new Black Eyed Peas album carrying a strong advisory for blatant electro pop and dance huckstery to be herewith snubbed), Stallagh being one, and some Ukranian headcase (the name eludes, thankfully) who recorded nearly an hour of radio static and issued it as a full-length album.

Mike Gallagher of Isis has been doing some relatively strange work in his offshoot entity MGR, albeit his focus has been to create cerebral, sometimes serene and sometimes disarming soundscapes with his guitars and synthboards.

It helps his frontman/guitarist Aaron Turner not only owns Neurot Recordings, but is favorable to the weird, the noisy and the experimental-at-heart. Considering the rigid complexities Isis adheres to when writing their elaborate art metal scapes, it's amusing to see Turner enjoys exposing work that has virtually no structure but that which serves merely to explore in sound. Try some of his other roster acts like Chord and the microns-from-hell coplaner transmissions of KK Null if you seek further evidence.

Joining Mike Gallagher on Amigos de la Guitarra is Destructo Swarmbots! guitarist Mike Mare in an abstract enjoinder (you should read the hilarious press release on how dos Miguels came to work together) which both men bring their affinity for prolonged ostinato and buried coldwave in a singular track on their collective album entitled "Amor en al Aire."

Love is in the air according to the sordid details of that jokey press release, yet the love in this project is haunted, shivery and assumedly the result of "chaos" and "heartbreak" surrounding the four-day recording process for this project. The Mikes spend the first portion of their extensive collaboration in a tag team death swill with their weepy guitars, permitting themselves to let their sluggish melody grow in anticipation with fused coldwave accenting their hellish overture.

The remainder of the 42-minute composition is at hushed reserve, so much you really need to tune out the rest of your life. As Gallagher has done on past MGR projects and Isis itself by means of giving intentional pause to their often ferocious climaxes, the project settles on whispered, barely-thumbed notes and shrill synth drenches. If you're accustomed to eighties (especially John Carpenter/Alan Howarth) horror soundtracks, you'll settle in nicer as a result.

Absolutely Amigos de la Guitarra is an endurance contest for Mike Gallagher and Mike Mare's audience, but at least for the first third-to-half of this aloof (and decidedly quite personal) project, the unhinged melancholy produced here might embrace you as a friend depending on your mood. Beware at that point.

Rating: ***


dschalek said...

I liked this.

Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

Dave! Whazzup, chief?