At this point last year would I have thought we’d be this deep into John Dwyer’s psychedelic jazz period. Maybe? Hopes were certainly high, but they’re far surpassed for 2021. Bent Arcana and Witch Egg started things off strong but over the course of the year the mind-flay just kept coming, evolving, and mutating. Endless Garbage pushed the idea into the outer rim, gnawing on noise and letting the funk lay dormant for a moment while the rot got right, but the double shot of Moon Drenched and Gong Splat have brought listeners back into Dwyer’s sphere of psych once more. Where the last album scraped the cosmos, this one gets back in line with the dirt-draped skronk and squeal of Egg and I’m down for the sister album aura that’s going on here.
The whole run has been propped on a rhythm-ripped head trip that hits so hard the mind manufactures enough stars to render it divine on impact. Gong Splat files right into midst of the bee’s nest blast of bass throb, synth squelch, and sax bleat beatdown that the rotating casts have served up. What’s most apparent on the album is a certain darkness, perhaps borrowed from the impulses that crept out of the tar on Endless Garbage and took root, but they’re given a groove to bite down on here. Disorienting emanations creep out of the wires, pulled back and forth by an invisible hand demanding dance. The record’s riffs push towards a headiness that’s somewhat bolted to the deck but constantly battling the cosmic winds that seem to keep swelling to tear it apart. It’s an embodiment of chaos in a bottle.
At this point its getting hard to see these as anything less than an interconnected piece of some larger puzzle, back away and the whole of the nebula is starting to take shape. I’d recommend a daylong dosing of the full batch, just letting the angles and sways wash over the mind, scraping away at the ego like a solar wind-fueled erosion. This tangent of Dwyer’s career wasn’t wholly surprising – I’ve mentioned Sword + Sandals before and Osees live have always been a mutable beast, but I’m delighted that its rooted this hard into his vision for the future. This is one more essential piece of the scorched landscape the ensemble has built. Lock in. You can stream the entire album below before tomorrow’s release.
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