Those boys in SUMAC must have been delighted when this opportunity came up: an album with the grand master Keiji Haino! The band, who are already kind of a alt-metal supergroup (members of Isis, Russian Circles and Baptists), coalesced around the ferocity of Haino’s vocals and guitars to create American Dollar Bill - Keep Facing Sideways, You’re Too Hideous To Look At Face On, a lengthy slab of experimental heavy. On Thrill Jockey.
Double LP £23.99 THRILL463LP
2LP on Thrill Jockey, pressed on virgin vinyl, packaged in a wide spine jacket printed on uncoated stock with custom slipcase also printed on uncoated stock with metallic ink.
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- Includes download code
CD £13.49 THRILL463CD
CD on Thrill Jockey, packaged in a 4-panel mini-LP style gatefold jacket printed on uncoated stock with metallic ink and 4-panel booklet.
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Once again Keiji Haino, the noise maestro synonymous with every possible pathway into his genre, lends a helping hand to the young guns around him. Having collaborated with just about anyone confident enough to ask him, he rarely disappoints, and the noise rock band working with him create a thrilling backdrop of chaos, giving Haino the chance to go fully and fantastically metal. The record -- housed in packaging so sweet and clean you’d never suspect it was going to yell at you -- is a lot to get into.
Mixing guitars that drop like a flurry of icicles with discordant shredding -- plus drums that go, improvised, where they will -- the band at times sound like they’re waiting to see what Haino will do, while at other times they seem to lead him down one of his inquisitions. A breakdown in the first song feels like the first moment they become confident enough to offer him a route, having experienced the timbral juxtaposition that is his flute. The whole affair becomes a swirl of scratchy feedback and Haino yelp, offering one of the most breathless iterations of his dramatics in a long time.
This record is as call and response as you’ll ever hear members of ISIS, Russian Circles and Baptists getting -- the rollicking drums, the uncertain feedback, the excitable guitars, they all sound terrified and thrilled at the prospect of what’s going to happen next. To the credit of both parties, Haino’s performance still feels truly unpredictable -- it’s as if this band of post-metal legends have presented him new shapes to mould himself around. True joy exists in this world of dread.
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- American Dollar Bill - Keep Facing Sideways, You’re Too Hideous To Look At Face On by Keiji Haino & SUMAC
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