Bill Orcutt

Traditionally Orcutt has sunk his teeth into acoustic guitar, expressing pain and the purgatory of the soul through the tangled strings of a trusty Kay filled with ghosts. It seems time, though, that he gives his caustic reverberations life through electricity and on his eponymous LP, he does just that. The album approaches and rejects accessibility, throwing interpretations of Ornette Coleman into the same bucket as traditional chum like “When You Wish Upon A Star,” “Over The Rainbow,” and “Ol Man River.” The latter tropes are rendered fairly unrecognizable through Orcutt’s lens, however, and it’s freeing to have him set a few classics on fire with the soul of Loren Connors.

Some of these songs have appeared in one form or another on Orcutt’s acoustic albums, but each is given a new life and new teeth for this record. The tumble of notes that spring from Orcutt’s explosive tangles are only tempered by the ringing spaces that he leaves hanging on the air. Anger and confusion lead to calm exhaustion, like a child all cried out and forgetting what the fight was about. The dissonance, and resonance of this album pushes through the platitudes of the source material to find a new resolve that strips pretty much any care from your body like a full salt scrub performed with power sanders.

It’s tempting to blanch at the chaos and din that Orcutt makes, but the trick is letting go. It’s a Magic Eye of an album, once your consciousness is relaxed and not fighting to find a thread, only then does it untether your lizard brain from the shackles of reasoning and resistance to let the picture form. Then the true magic happens and this chaos lifts to the heavens. Meditation through barrage, perhaps there’s a new movement brewing.




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