PRJ024 - The Black Neck Band of the Common Loon Cinder and Spatter
- Whistle and I came to you
- Swallowing Swallows
- Nita Secluna
- A stumble may prevent a fall
- Lava tides
- The Auctioneer's Chant
- Corpus Crispi
Released: August 2011
Reviews for Cinder and Spatter
Gumshoegrove.com, May 2012
'Normally I’d start this review off like any other, but in the case of Cinder and Spatter, by The Black Neck Band Of The Common Loon, I must immediately delve into the soupy, rich miasma that is “Lava Tides.”
While Cinder is great from top to bottom, “Tides” is an adventure almost heavenly in its celestial launch, usurping its power from some of my most-loved projects of the last decade or two – Niobe, Babe, Terror, Dirty Three, the Triplets of Belleville soundtrack – and perhaps vaulting ahead of them, all in the span of four minutes. It’s absolutely incredible how instantly appealing this cut is from the first slash, and what’s perhaps more notable is that the rest of the record holds itself to equally high standards.
If you follow characters like Weasel Walter/The Flying Luttenbachers and their plentiful ilk, Hum Of Gnats, Avarus, Smegma, Nurse With Wound, No-Neck Blues Band, Neptune, early Sylvester Anfang II and too many other acolytes to even mention, you must attempt to strip the bark from Cinder and Spatter and taste its poignant, yet pungent, marrow.
If the “Lava Tides” bit didn’t ensnare you, try this on for size: “Whistle and I Came to You” is so bendy, twirly and kaleidoscopic you might literally become dizzy as you listen. I was listening to this cut at work and almost pull the plug, its singing saw-ish (though I’m sure it’s not a singing saw; a theremin maybe? Or one of those doo-hickeys Racebannon had, wherein Mike Anderson would wave his hand over a sensor and drive the crowd fucking crazy?) sizzle turning my head around and slicing my brain to ribbons.
The intermingling percussive elements leap all over the place as well, roaring and rumbling patiently in the foreground while the whistling willows warble and wiggle. Then a break in the clouds forms and the sun shines through like the lights of a nether-heaven neither you nor I have dared dream. Shakers slam, chains clank, toms grumble and life is simpler and sunny-side up like the 1950s on Christmas morning.
Problem is, the drums rumble and tumble and crescendo and, next thing you know, that dizzy-ass whine is back and pitch-shifting all over the map, this time wrapping around itself several times like a gang of snakes chasing the same tail. A zillion bands try their hand at this brand of super-galactic, multi-instrument, hyper-experimental mind-fuckery, yet so few practice/plan enough to render the rough spots worth the rub. Even fewer manage the balance between percussion and squelch; a lot of improv groups have a drummer or maybe even two but the Loon seem to possess an army of restless, all-too-willing bellringers and triangle tinglers. (Why can’t I find artists like these in Corpus Christi (Maybe the answer rests within Cinder and Spatter's final cut, "Corpus Chrispi") The Black Neck Band Of The Common Loon accomplish so much within the confines of this one, gorgeous CD — which is sheathed in octagonal sleeve art you wouldn’t normally associate with a CD/CD-R, which is why I didn’t ignore it like I did the thousands of CDs littering my apartment like bottle caps — I’m wondering if their other releases deliver more of the same or branch out in equally scary, but disparate, directions. Perhaps I will find out, no? I hope so, I do, I do …'
The Wire, January 2012
'This brighton based unit, featuring drummer Andy Pyne and sometime member of Hamilton yarns Blue Pin, joined on their third album by Jennie Howell, make turbulent free folk, seen through a prism of imaginary English Edwardiana. On "Eschaton", hysterical viola and crashing drums create a freeform melodrama; "Lava Tides" fetures uptight choral vocals; "Corpus Cripsi" is a sprawling improvisation with prepared village hall piano and a hint of church organ; while "Whistle and I came to you" puts that most parochial of Little English instruments, the recorder, through washes of queasy effects to create an alien lurch - like the Clangers on a nightmare trip. In fact there's something of Oliver Postgate's mildly lysergic ersatz sepia-tint to the entire date.'
Losing Today, October 2011
'There’s a moment on the briefly relieving interlude ‘a stumble may prevent a fall’ (a very Terry Riley meets 80’s incarnation of Michael Nyman type title - or is it just me who thinks so) wherein the would be listener is treated - albeit puzzlingly - to a momentary tap dancing recital before dissolving into a surreal sepia dipped celestial dream like sequence with the arrival of ’lava tides’ which aside in its tenderly brief passing you half expect Walt Disney to pop up introducing the Beverley sisters also has you slightly teetering on the back foot harbouring the unrealistic notion and spectacle of anything remotely connected with Mr Pyne daring to stray into a recognised pop orbit. Such fanciful thoughts are soon alas dashed with the ensuing splutter and bulldozing of said serene calm by the oncoming incision of a percussive expressway. And from therein all abnormality resumes. Of course we here swear we detect a faintly audible groan of despair and the forming of a worried expression upon the lips and faces of the neighbours when they eye the familiar Brighton postmarks on mail delivered here and so they should for releases flying out of the foolproof projects imprint these days come with the guarantee of something approaching a serious head fuck. And releases there have been and plentiful to - indeed 2011 has been a very productive FP year so far what with outings from both Medicine and Duty and a solo offing for Mr Pyne having arrived here safe and sound seeing fit to go AWOL on arrival - fear not though as both releases are available via band camp so you can expect these treasures to be dutifully detailed and despatched with overly fond words a little later on in these pages. And now this. ‘cinder and splatter’ is the third outing for the Black Neck of the Common Loon these days expanded to a trio formed of Gorse, Leopard Leg and Medicine and Duty types. Limited to just 100 copies and arriving housed in a rather fetching hexagonal sleeve, the press release toots with a somewhat proud achievement that ‘cinder and splatter’ is the Loons most out there release yet, well given they’ve previously proven themselves to be right off the radar then who knows where this places them for its been nearly two years to the day since we first committed to print and posting their self titled debut release and in that time they‘ve lost none of that edge, that wantonness to pummel you into next week or indeed that acute ability to defy categorization preferring instead to plunder the back waters of pop‘s more twisted ancestry (free jazz, no noise, drone, demented art rock, arabesque transcendentalism as on the thickly humid oppressiveness of the Muslim Gauze like eastern bazaar claustrophobia ’nita secluna’ and a healthy dose of voodoo tribalism) to procure a new sonic hybrid. The reference markers remain the same - This Heat, Henry Cow, Albert Ayler and Volcano the Bear all head up the comparison notices as does the ensembles underlying impish quotient those among you thinking otherwise should seek out ‘whistle and I’ll came to you’ which assuming our ears aren’t deceiving sounds like a Scout band version of the Clangers battling a force 9 gale. Elsewhere there’s the sombrely gothic fracturing of the parting ’Corpus Crispi’ to pack you off with a sense of deep unease - by our reckoning the sets key moment unto whose unsettling cauldron both Cage and Stockhausen flitter with ominous glee stained in a dread drilled noir setting of droning church organs heralding haunting portent that said ’swallowing swallows’ proves to be no slouch in the hiding behind the sofa stakes be its dimpling in all manner of disturbing dialects and eerie waywardness as it shivers and shakes amid some fog bound half light shrilled to the humming glower of insectoid howls and transfixed to the out there disquiet of the Butthole Surfers albeit on some spiritual passage through the remote recesses of Tibet. Bad boogie indeed.'