live festival recording from Victoriaville 2005 used as source material, sliced and diced into shapes that might give pause to those that witnessed the event in vivo. To these ears, the reconfiguration works in startling and compelling ways, a crafty assemblage that serves to duly show each and every facet of the beast—an idea that’s been easily lost in the sauce of prior ad hoc jams that may have shook the hell out of the heavens, but did little to settle the manic eddying of the reflective pool. Recording quality is as fine as it gets, too, sweeping the fuzz floors that usually serve as lounging foundation for No-Neck’s brand of sound as ritualistically plied, off-the-cuff combustion.
Electronics, jabbering guitars, and voodoo percussion shimmy and twirl, apoplectic and sweating, hyperventilating in amphetamine’d swells that surge and deliquesce in ways that any mystic worth their salt would compare to the nexus between Winter’s death and Spring’s nagging libido. There’s no set plan, no one way out, no leader, and no followers. Every single contribution is selflessly delivered, tossed out into silence and celebrated in a flash of existence; sounds are created and killed off, hooded and choked, lungs crushed like beer cans as the decay drips out into the nothing. For all the vacancy, there are more than enough touchstones; perhaps the most available is the Reichian piano-as-percussion that provides the lubrication for “Pylorus in Response.” The piece, in patented No-Neck fashion, ensues with infantile curiosity and concludes with wordless sublimity, again showing them to be the only ensemble with balls big enough to hammer away at a sound or sounds until the attributes are hopelessly confused, lost on the long way home back to the self.
The resurrection is rendered in inchoate and concealing religiosity. Habits, censers, blood, and nudity are mixed like corn liquor and fire, bringing baritone chants, rattles, sparring strings; softly illuminating them and awaiting the explosion that never comes. Other pieces drift out of this moldy and odiferous reservoir, ably becoming “background music” and prompting a cursory stereo check: is this still the same CD? It is, and it only grows further inside itself, fusing feet and hands; slick, reptilian skin shutting over mouths, eyes and anuses; nails and hair rolling out in crinkly, curved bone and oily, serpentine tresses. The Träd, Gräs och Stenar damage of “Brain Soaked Hide” provides a respite long enough to realize that No-Neck never commit sound to tape without invoking some consuming spiritual protocol, and with Nine for VICTOR, the congregation has been called to order….
Reviewed by: Stewart Voegtlin
Reviewed on: 2007-03-13