Far removed from physically from the open expanses and arid afternoons they evoke, New York ambient county outfit SUSS bring together a collection of EPs that cap off a tumultuous time for the band. After losing founding member Gary Leib in 2001, the band sought to add to the works that they’d begun together. Lieb’s death occurred just after the release of the Night Suite EP, which opens up this double LP set. That EP took route through the Southwest, a nighttime drive through Rout 66 from Albuquerque to Lost Angeles. Like the stark relief brought about the the setting of the desert sun, the EP was steeped in the quiet stillness of endless miles of pavement and dirt. They’d continue the journey with Heat Haze, the other side to the nighttime coin, bringing heat-stroke visions of highway specters, counting miles between the desolate ruins of ‘60s steel oases.
They still the mind even further with Winter Was Hard, parched of the heat that fills the other two installments and instead carving out patterns in frost and finding solace in shades of grey. The EP pulls its collar against the cold, before they descend into the final, unreleased EP, Across The Horizon. As the final EP pulls all the threads together, SUSS once again prove that they inhabit the ambient country sound, exemplify it, and let it seep into the ether around them. These EPs are imbued with a sense of dread that’s woven like a silver thread through woolen grey blocks of calm, a record that’s searching for solace in a world that won’t let us rest.
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