Old Time Relijun - Catharsis In Crisis
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Old Time Relijun
Catharsis In Crisis

Catharsis In Crisis is the perfect name for the new album from Old Time Relijun, because although the group has been known as one to make a ruckus for some time now, this newest album is a ramshackle blowout of yelping, jangling rocking that always sounds like its on the verge of collapse. Inhabiting a universe where Captain Beefheart , Tom Waits, and a bit of No Wave all got swirled together into an unholy cocktail, the group sounds like they're trying to exorcise their own demons and possibly those of anyone listening at the same time.

Recorded at Calvin Johnson's Dub Narcotic Studio, the release has a juicy bottom end, but is crisp and a bit raw as well. Opener "Indestructrible Life!" sets the table nicely, as saxophone bleats snake around a stomping rhythm and the street preacher-like vocals of Arrington de Dionyso. "The Tightest Fits" strips things back to sinewy guitar fret noise and a sputtering rhythm section that's about as rough and tumble as they come while Dionyso goes completely unconscious, growling and groaning and generally letting loose with nearly unintelligible guttural noises that make it sound like he's on the edge of collapse.

Generally, that's how it goes, although the group does just enough to keep things fairly interesting throughout. "Dark Matter" features some nice, reverb-heavy guitar that veers into twisted surf rock, while "In The Crown Of Lost Light" proves the group can write something that approximates pop music, while still not veering too far outside the lines of their uneasy sound. A good portion of the rest of the release is two-minute or so blowouts that I mentioned above, where snare-cracking drums and instruments on the verge of going completely out-of-tune back up the wild-eyed vocals of Dionyso. As one might imagine, it doesn't always stay completely on the rails, and sort of hits a small rut towards the end, but with fourteen tracks running under 40 minutes the group doesn't stick in one place for too long.

rating: 710
Aaron Coleman 2008-01-10 21:30:34