Carla Bozulich: Evangelista
Listening to "Baby, That's the Creeps" from former Geraldine Fibbers frontwoman Carla Bozulich's latest solo album, I'm reminded of Paul Williams's liner notes for the 30th anniversary edition of Horses. Williams breaks the classic Patti Smith album into two parts: before "Birdland" and after. Likewise, "Baby" is cogent and wild, a song anchor and an album undoing. Before "Baby," Evangelista has fine strokes of tension, apprehension wrapped in seesaw howls, organic noise collage, and cellos that burn holes of malaise into the album's fabric. (It's a fitting release for Constellation, former home of Godspeed You Black Emperor and Silver Mt Zion, who collaborate with Bozulich on the album.) When she comes out the other side, the album gives way to the tentative calm that rises after something ferocious is gone.
On the nine-and-a-half-minute opener, she comes on like a tent-revival Diamanda Galas, swinging her pain with such swagger, you'd think she had a patent on it. I always thought the Geraldine Fibbers were just an excuse to wield that twang at the back of her voice; their urbane cowboy bit fenced her in. Aside from her outré work with guitar damager Nels Cline, this is the first time Bozulich has really let 'er rip. It's been a long time coming. In her voice, in her dusky wails, you could always hear her hinge, restraining herself. Long moans, screams rising like smoke, and rough-as-sin croons all hum and buck along with gorgeous exhales of noise from guitarist Efrim Manuck and violinist Jessica Moss. It's a fine, slightly unnerving album in all and woefully welcome work from Bozulich.
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