One of the great pre-pandemic joys I had was the beginnings of putting on some Upstate NY shows in 2019. It was a tip towards momentum that was sadly cut short along with the rest of society over the past year, but I still hold the show that Spiral Wave Noamads opened in high regard as a memory of what I’d like to get back to someday. Alongside Jesse Sheppard and Turner Williams and Wet Tuna, the duo tore down Half Moon here in Hudson with a singed psychedelic experience that expanded on the music from their excellent Feeding Tube debut. The magic there was Eric and Michael feeding off of one another, something that was surprisingly not the case in their debut, which had been recorded between them remotely, trading files between one another in home studios.
For the second go ‘round at the Tube, the pair enter the studio together and find that symbiotic glow they had on stage one October night. The simmering tension, the push past the boundaries of the brittle veil, the urge to cave noise out of beauty and beauty out of pain are all here on First Encounters. They lead off with a monster, 13+ minute sweat box before squeezing their sound through a black hole of psychic damage on “Fitful Embers.” Though the contact burns off of “Radiant Drifter” might mark themselves as the highlight of the LP, before they tumble down another 13-minute meditation to close out the the LP. The final track cements their psychic link — a slow-motion tidal wave of sonic crumble that threatens to cave in the speakers from the inside out. Glad to see that the first LP wasn’t just a one-off crusher. Spiral Wave continue to establish themselves as ones to keep tabs on.
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