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Tom Long

I’ve wanted to write about the record The Strain by Teeth for some time now, but given the subject matter, I’ve never quite been sure how to approach it. For those who are familiar with the compelling story of John Grabski, creative force behind the short-lived duo, I certainly can do no better than what has already been written.

Through the benevolent powers of the internet, John found a community to share his story of his battle with cancer. Shortly before his death, he recorded a seven-song LP with his brother Ben and Steve Albini at Electrical Audio in Chicago. It’s an unvarnished document of his fight with cancer: the medicine and surgery, the hope and vulnerability, the struggle to make sense and learning how to deal with the limited time one has. The project adopted the motto Rock vs. Cancer; Rock Wins, which captures the spirit of the record.

Tom Long

Editor’s Note: This review first appeared May 13, 2011.

My knowledge of Nottingham, UK, extends to the Robin Hood movies I grew up watching as a kid courtesy of WGN Family Classics (featuring Douglas Fairbanks) and Disney (with a cartoon fox). I don’t know much of its music scene, yet I’ve been obsessing lately over instrumental recordings from a pair of bands that hail from there — Kogumaza and Souvaris.

With all the yap-yap and chatter by the talking pixels of the 24/7 cable news/internet, my brain needs a break. I don’t always have the attention span for listening to songs. What I particularly enjoy about a well done instrumental is the freedom it allows me to imagine. No whiny, sappy, heartbroken, political or obtuse lyrics to badly date an era. Just get right to the good stuff.

Kogumaza is a trio that create a dense, cinematic experience on their self-titled release that just came out this week. The two-track download plays like an LP (if you don’t actually buy the vinyl). Each side features a four-piece suite of ambient, hypnotically droning, reverberating guitars; fuzzed out bass and drums cleverly stitched together. The approach is simple and well-crafted, never proggy or flashy.

 

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Tom Long

My knowledge of Nottingham, UK, extends to the Robin Hood movies I grew up watching as a kid courtesy of WGN Family Classics (featuring Douglas Fairbanks) and Disney (with a cartoon fox). I don’t know much of its music scene, yet I’ve been obsessing lately over instrumental recordings from a pair of bands that hail from there — Kogumaza and Souvaris.

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