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Thursday, December 2, 2010

Album Review: Lords Of Falconry - Lords Of Falconry

This band’s juicy moniker, Lords Of Falconry, conjures up images of vast birds of prey gliding in from hilltops to alight on oiled leather gloves so, as an avid ornithologist, I was keen to learn more. A quick flick through their PR release reveals nothing but hyperbole: phrases like “quixotically naïve”, “green, inferno-like” or “the waltz-like sound of mastodons”. Their MySpace page, similarly, reveals little but misdirection (a claim that they hail from the United Arab Emirates being the straw that broke the camel’s back), but a bit of digging unearths one Steven Wray Lobdell, an Oregonian guitarist with a few bands (Davis Redford Triad, Faust, Sufi Mind Game) under his belt and a doyen of all things psych, and one Sammy James Adams, a North Dakotan drummer with a penchant for cultism and all things ancient.

Here, their music emerges through a heady fog of white noise to deliver, most notably, a deranged howling at the moon (‘Doomsday Legislation’), a wash of drunken guitar feedback (‘Scottish Chords’), a hypnotically swerving, effects-laden solo (‘Manifest Destiny’), and a starkly simplistic and instantly accessible array of rock chords combined with a reverberating, gothic vocal, reminiscent of the style of delivery that harkened from The Mission’s Wayne Hussey (‘Mariana’). All these little affectations pin an individual imprint on each track, but all seem impelled by a filthy rich mix of warping guitar overdrive, a monumental, track-bleeding bottom-end drone and an almost epic use of hard-hitting snare and resonating cymbal shatter to steadily drive the music to the point of implosion, where crazily the music folds in on itself – almost as if the players seem hell-bent on self-destruction.

This fetid wall of muddy psych implies a heavy use of mind-bending drugs and a blatant disregard for subtlety or technique. Here, then, is music that screams self-indulgence. Probably recorded as near to live as humanly possible, with disappointingly short tracks (considering the style) faded carelessly in and out, the whole album feels lost down its own deep murky hole where the aggressive power swirls and builds to raise its head before abating and sinking below ground once more. Smack the volume up, close your eyes and, for brief moments, you should be able to generate a feel of how immense this might sound live but burnt to a piece of plastic it merely disappoints rather than invigorates. Perhaps if they’d left the powerful shock ending of the outstanding brutish grunge of ‘Rosebud’ for last, they might have afforded the moment even bigger impact and left a natural fullstop. However by ending proceedings on the mental disharmony between dizzy, treble-heavy guitar and the thunderpunching bassline of ‘Creeping, The Ether’, they’ve left it feeling like an odd bonus track. “Quixotically naïve” is probably a fair description after all, especially when you consider the painfully miserly 35 minutes they offer you to lose yourself in their ambiguously psychotic world.

Also online @ TLOBF = http://www.thelineofbestfit.com/2010/12/lords-of-falconry-lords-of-falconry/

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