The Rubber Room
Starlight Wonder



The Rubber Room column is a weekly look at recent and notable releases that don’t fall into the rubric of traditional reviews or reviewed material—namely 7”’s, 12”’s, 3” CDs, EPs, cassette-only, DVDs and MP3-only releases.

The Who
Wire & Glass EP
[Polydor, 2006]


One of rock's biggest bands returns after 24 years with a new album, and they send out a teaser EP that's not available in the States and that, instead of having songs, has only one full track and a five-song medley. For longtime Pete Townshend fans, the bizarre structure makes sense and even feels about right. But classic-rock loving Who fans be ready, because based on what's here, the group sounds surprisingly new and unexpectedly good. We knew what we were getting—big riffs, songs about music, the occasional easier groove—but it doesn't make it any less exciting.
[Justin Cober-Lake]

Sadako
Ancient Burial Chambers Volume 2
[Haunted Trail, 2006]


Beware. This one-sided C90 cassette is smeared with something red that comes off on your hands if they are wet, or if you accidentally lick it (long story). Whether this stuff is children’s paint or lipstick, I can’t decide. Music-wise, it’s (assuredly) composed of archived recordings, ranging from brief snippets of harsh noise to the extended and ambitious field recordings. The longer pieces work best—two of them stand up against repeated listens very well. The customary hiss of a cassette—and the space left around the ill-omened sounds—sits well with a palette of intimate shuffling. It’s only the Prurient-esque noise pieces that make you conscious you’re getting too close to the speakers.
[Scott McKeating]

Endlessly
Oroborus
[Self-Released, 2006]


The “Oroborus” is classically depicted as a self-devouring dragon, presented in a circular pattern with head consuming tail. Symbolically, it can be interpreted as a representation of infinity or the cyclical nature of life—concepts approached and explored in aural form by this soothing release. Presented in a short-epic-medium-epic formation, each of these four percussion-less tracks use chiming strokes to construct a slow, spellbinding portrait which gradually melts and fragments into mellifluous droning sweeps. Through minimal instrumentation and the enduring repetition of soft, beautiful textures, Endlessly have shaped a series of unrestricted moments in time that exude starlight wonder.
[Peter Parrish]

Sub-Rosa
Tea For A Viper EP
[Self-Released, 2006]


Preparing a refreshing pot of brew for a deadly serpent would generally be considered either quite gung-ho or rather silly. Especially if you were wearing a jacket made of mice. Sub-Rosa pitch their flag somewhere between the two, doing things like naming a track “I’m Right, You’re Dead” and then proceeding to play it with a convincingly straight face. Wide and chunky guitar sounds abound throughout the EP, riffing up the place with a sly wink and the sound of the lumber industry—though it is the slightly more restrained “One Age Paradise” which emerges as a highlight, featuring less bluster and more variation than the title piece. Chuck in a confident vocal performance (complete with what can only be described as the ever-popular falsetto “ooh-ing”) and you’ve got an experience far more appealing than, say, picking out Earl Greys for your old chum Kaa.
[Peter Parrish]


By: Stylus Staff
Published on: 2006-09-20
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