Open Mouth, O’ Wisp
Skin Graft Records
Gorge Trio exist to confound, quite simply. Songs, or more accurately assemblages, come and go as quickly as they did on Napalm Death’s first album, and the parts blend into a fascinating, mismatched whole. In fact, if I had to compare the aesthetic at work here, that of wide-eyed curiosity and genre-grabbing mixed with a healthy dose of boredom and frustration with the constraints of the concept of “songs,” I’d have to compare Gorge Trio to a less academic Naked City. As well as Boredoms, Cheer Accident, US Maple, Thurston Moore, Zappa, Derek Bailey and other brave and forward thinking “pains in the ass.”
Garage scrapings, classical piano, spazzdeath freakouts, acoustic guitar prettiness, little broken glass guitar fragments, broken music boxes, swarms of locusts, electromagnetic bass pulses, electronic manipulations par excellence, idyllic wanderings, lost and found sound, momentary gentleness, sound doodles, abstract drum freakouts — that about covers it.
It seems that the obvious skills of the players here, both the Trio and guests (like Deerhoof’s Satomi Matsuzaki), are locked in a Ragnarok-esque eternal struggle with their skills and the desire, as Robert Fripp put it, to aggressively unlearn everything you’ve learned. Open Mouth, O’ Wisp is in many ways the soundtrack to that battle’s decisive last moments.
Grating, challenging and even occasionally beautiful. Longer pieces depart from the chaos principle and often gel together beautifully (see “The Age of Almost Living” and “Roof Halves And Dewdrop Gems” and, my god, especially “Treasure House In Amber”). When the past is so painfully and viscerally regurgitated, with no comfort left, the only place to go is the future. We owe Gorge Trio for stripping away our precious illusions and making us evolve.
Skin Graft Records: www.skingraftrecords.com