Magic Hour

Will They Turn You on or Will They Turn on You (Twisted Village 1995)

http://www.mediafire.com/?jbmunztcywt

I’ve already penned some flowery words about Wayne Rogers and Kite Biggar’s work on Crystallized Movements’ Revelations From Pandemonium. I’ve always been a sucker for guitar virtuosos, especially when they unreel such intricate, but unhinged riffs like Wayne Rogers does on his solo and group efforts. However, this fellow finds it difficult to repeatedly visit much of the albums on Twisted Village because they can be pretty draining. How often can one listed to Wormdoom before you batter your musical palate. Sometimes we need a bit of a sorbet between the ears to cleanse ourselves between epic bouts of feedback and pyrotechnics.

When you look at the Twisted Village catalogue, I always found Magic Hour’s music to be that gentle, but challenging palate cleanser amidst the racket and din. Will They Turn You On is their best effort as it sees the band overcoming the growing pains of their debut No Excess is Absurd. Their debut is pretty damn great, but the mix of Rogers and Biggar with Galaxie 500’s rhythm section, Damon Krukowski and Naomi Yang never fully congealed. That is no insult, but Damon and Naomi were always sort of the eye while Rogers and Biggar were the storm and the two never intersected for me. Will They Turn You On works best because it includes their most concise statements of psych-pop on “Something Else” and “Jonathan and Charles” as well as “Passing Words” a twenty-minute jam that fully reconciles the Velvet Underground thumping of the rhythm section with the wild impulses of the guitarists. It provides accessible excess and has a sense of pacing and excellent songwriting to ground the thunder and lightning. It’s rare to find albums that satisfy my sweet tooth and desire for more damaged sounds, so it’s no surprise that this album always finds it way back onto my stereo.

Vermonster

Spirit of Yma (Twisted Village 1990)

http://www.mediafire.com/?z0mcdirdild

A lot of folks have downloaded Vermonster’s Instinctively Human from a previous post, so I figured that its predecessor would be a welcome surprise. If you missed the first post, Vermonster is Wayne Rogers and Kate Biggar’s band before Crystallized Movements and Major Stars as well as their many worthwhile solo and side projects. This one has more “songs” but it is still an unholy racket. Instead of a total freakout, Spirit of Yma predicts the direction they would take with Crystallized Movements, but far noisier and fucked. It isn’t easy listening, but listen closely and you’ll hear the beauty hidden beneath the din. Lots of fuzz, wah-wah and shredding strings abound on this one.

Vermonster

Instinctively Inhuman (Twisted Village 1991)

http://www.mediafire.com/?9vnd9m15fza

I am posting this because of multiple requests for more of Wayne Rogers’ playing after they listened to his work with Crystallized Movements’ Revelations From Pandemonium. The Crystallized Movements posted earlier was unhinged, but rooted to a song which grounded their efforts. Be forewarned, his work with kate Biggar in Vermonster in unhinged without a single root to grasp.

Instinctively Inhuman consist of two epic tracks. “Black Sally” which is a cover of Human Instinct who were covering a song by Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys. I haven’t heard either version, so I am walking around blindfolded here. However, Vermonster’s take on the songs is rolled in flour and fried to oblivion. There are two meandering riffs going on at once while another guitar is overdubbed to provide the requisite feedback. The song itself is an afterthought, the guitar playing is the attraction and it delivers.

“Stoned Guitar” is an example of truth in advertising. It is a bit too indulgent for my taste. It kicks into a muddled groove of some sort about halfway through the song, but it doesn’t really rise above the din. Bah Humbug on this one.

Crystallized Movements

Revelations from Pandemonium

http://www.mediafire.com/?3osgyictj1l

This was Crystallized Movements’ finale and it was a perfect summary of all that was great about this band while pointing towards the psychedelic balladry of Magic Hour as well as the crushing heaviness of Major Stars. In my humble opinion, both of these later projects are superior to Crystallized Movements attempts to combine the two, but Revelations From Pandemonium straddled the line so well.

The core unit of all of these acts are Wayne Rogers and Kate Biggar, who run Twisted Village, an influential label and records store. They have had a hand in many releases on the label by B.O.R.B. and Vermonster. You can count on the Twisted Village label if you love fried, amp-destroying feedback with a taste for the 60s.

If I had to sum up Revelations From Pandemonium, it would be “fuzzy.” I guess a lazy comparison would be to Sonic Youth’s Sister and EVOL filtered through psych-folk, but then again that doesn’t do it total justice. Wayne Rogers’ guitar playing is kaleidoscopic in that so many sounds can be perceived in his lo-fi wall of sound. His playing is majestic and regal when he avoids the noise and reels off a riff worthy of Jimi Hendrix Randy Holden. His vocals are deadpan and don’t add much, the lyrics are meaningless, but his voice works because it adds a monotone accent on the main attraction–the instrumental brilliance of this band.

This album is an acquired taste and requires a few listens to grasp its brilliance, but anyone in love with scruffy psychedelia will eventually find much to love.