Lesbian - Power Hor
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Power Hor

Yes, the name of the band is Lesbian. Far from being a grrl-powered punk rock or electro-powered outfit like LeTigre (as one might possibly expect given the name), though, the group is a quartet of tattoo-covered sludge-metalists that come in somewhere between Neurosis, Isis, and Boris. Their debut album is four sprawling songs that average almost fifteen minutes apiece and stretch out to an hour in length, veering between deep stoner riffage, math-like guitar progressions, and even more melodic ambient passages.

At eight and a half minutes, the album opener "Black Forest Hamm" churns relentlessly for the entire time as over-the-top screamed vocals and groans are nearly buried by alternately chugging guitars and insane finger-tapping pyrotechnics offset with percussive explosions. With only a brief respite about halfway through, it's serious neck injury type stuff. "Powerwhorses" follows and opens with some backwards guitar noodling and other quiet drones before twisting into an almost progressive-rock second section and finally onto a guitar-hero meltdown about halfway through that signals a juicier second half.

Like the song that came before it, "Loadbath" is just as loose, mixing together quieter sections, vocal-chord shredding screams and power guitar antics while changing up about every four or five minutes over the course of nearly a half hour in length. In places it's flat-out stunning, but the group changes direction much more than a group like Pelican (who are much more content to work a groove over and over in order to build it into something), making their long tracks feel a bit dash 'n grab in a lot of places. Just about the time they really settle into something, they move in a different direction, and while that sort of feel will definitely appeal to more math-rock type metal lovers, to me it always feels like they're leaving things behind just as they get going. If you're a fan of any of the aforementioned bands, you might want to take a chance on it. It's not the creme of the crop in the genre that it inhabits, but occasionally lets loose with some serious devastation.

rating: 710
Aaron Coleman 2007-04-05 21:01:09