There’s always been a bone-dry isolation to the work of Belgian blues/psych wringer Bram Devens, or as he’s usually billed, Ignatz. He’s often knocking a smoke curl of psych through a gauze curtain of haze that puts him in the pocket with Ilyas Ahmed and a pre-production makeover Amen Dunes. Back in 2014 he hooked up with members of Sylvester Anfang II to form a fleshed and flayed combo that took his sound to a less lonesome place, albeit just slightly. On the band’s follow-up, the ingeniously titled Deadbeat Freedom, they again walk the line between private press loner blues and feedback splattered psychedelic grind. The album dives behind the baseboards and works the dust into an armor of impenetrable proportions before wandering out into the desert heat to let the sweat soak a few visions into the brain.
Devens’ divine tangle is still present on the album, sliding a hermit’s psych-blues itinerary into the half-stack/half-slack sound that they embody. For their part, De Stervende Honden keep pace with Ignatz every step of the way – stumbling through the murk when he works his way deeper in din and letting the clip dance a bit above the fray when Devens pulls himself out of the desperate straights that he so often courts. When the band begins to choogle a bit (just slightly mind you, this ain’t gonna ramble too hard) the band does get a bit of motion. The glasses are still fogged on their delivery, but there’s a demented dance to “The Wrong Tree” and the title track that’s hard to ignore. Their last record was an underground gripper and this seems to fall right in line. Ultra Eczema is still kicking out a quiet cool that shouldn’t be dismissed or demeaned. Get on this one.
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