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Thursday, May 3, 2007

Burning Off Impurities

Posted on Thu, May 3, 2007 at 4:00 AM

Burning Off Impurities
Label: Temporary Residence
Length: LP
Media: CD
Format: Album
WorkNameSort: Burning Off Impurities
Doom Kraut-folk? Hipster almost-metal? Psych-strum? None of these hyphenated micro-genre slots seem to suit Grails, but the instrumental outfit exists at the intersection of all three classifications. A field-recorded breaking storm heralds modal harpsichords tickled by inky bass keyboard plods and booming drums that sound like they're being smashed three floors down on 'More Extinctionâ?�; the outro's a torrential downpour. 'Silk Rdâ?� alternates between atmospheric passages and knotted, quasi-modal jams where string sections, guitars, organs and stumpy percussion melt into through-the-black-forest-at-night blitzkriegs, slowly gathering momentum before bolting like freed throughbreds. Crashing waves give way to drum-and-bass pulsations that sprout processed, effects-pedaled ax streamers on 'Outer Banksâ?�; so far, so derivatively Neu!, but the beat's compromised so frequently and the terra firma's so unstable that anything seems possible, even though the song does dissipate at its end, flaking away into silent oblivion.

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