Friday, January 15, 2016

U.S. SAUCER My Company Is Misery LP (AMARILLO)

 Back in the 90s I got into this band first, because they were a “Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 side project″ (not really accurate, but the two bands did share one member, Brian Hageman), and second, because they were on Amarillo Records (the consistently baffling/humorous/fascinating label run by Gregg “Neil Hamburger” Turkington). What absolutely sealed the deal was a brilliant blurb, presumably written by Jimmy Johnson, in the mail-order catalog in the back of the last ever issue of Forced Exposure, which in part read “…some of the most depressingly liberating outings of non-good-time music you could ever hope to lay your head down next to. Sparse drone song structure sometimes opens up for bursts of heavy noise guitar (almost Haino-esque) and general inspirational lethargy. Can’t imagine a more unimpeachingly ‘outside’ American LP any time soon.” I really love that phrase “depressingly liberating,” and I can’t tell you how drawn I continue to be to music that fits that bill, from Neil Young to the aforementioned Mr. Haino to Doom Metal to Meg Baird to Souled American. And, speaking of Souled American, I now can’t help but think that U.S. Saucer was probably formed to simply BE a West Coast version of them in their post-drummer iteration. Not so much to “rip them off” as just to keep that beautiful depressing vibe going, as its originators got more and more reclusive over the years. David Tholfsen is almost as monstrous on bass as SA’s Joe Adducci, and the guitars by Margaret Murray and Hageman do a lot more than just a great Grigoroff/Tuma homage (FE wasn’t kidding about those Haino-esque noise bursts – check out the long coda to “Scold Mourner” for some particularly satisfying slow-burn scorch). 

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