Gastr Del Sol
"Crookt, Crackt, Or Fly" CD (Drag City)
Mindblown avant-blues from David Grubbs' new project, this time working with Jim O'Rourke. It's discordant, unsettling and even features an occasional lyric. Primarily dealing with fretwork on acoustic guitars and ambient sound, Gastr's eerie soundscapes evoke inexplicable emotions coming close to paranoia. Don't even consider buying this if you're in therapy or on Prozac.
"Upgrade & Afterlife" CD (Drag City)
The term "math rock" seems to be employed mainly by people who have trouble coping with complicated music and who most-likely flunked out of pre-algebra. So I introduce you to pre-eminent noisy band Gastr Del Sol and math rock for pre-algebra dropouts. "Upgrade & Afterlife" is a sample-fueled soundscape. It's trippy stuff and might make sense as the soundtrack to an underground European sci-fi movie. This is not a music of statement and resolution - it's about suggestion and retraction. Frustrating, yes, but if you have an open mind, it'll evolve on you. Music for the bong loading set. (PHILIP)