The Songs We Can't Escape

"Or from a Tree Descending"

Miller's electro-acoustic guitar strums out a thoughtful, or one might say inquisitive, pattern: several quick discursive paces that result in a brainstorm flourish. "Descending" doubles as a clinic on these pensive eureka moments, revisiting that base, ponderous structure with minute variations and making me wanna re-watch old House episodes.


Would it be considered a slam to say that this reminds me of one of the rawer, less developed jams on Genius + Love = Yo La Tengo? It does: It's like rhythmic, borderline monotonous sex—scraping bass bobbing and weaving around wordless moans, itchy feedback guitars, and shrugging drums. Four minutes take forever to pass—but it's not enough, somehow.

"Cold Meat in a Flying Shopping Cart"

Drums patter and guitars sneer in the margins, but the star of this exercise is a spasming sax blat that's nothing short of arresting: It contorts, lashes out, shudders in place.


I can't front: Moderately clever name aside, Pocahaunted's wide-open drone MO leaves me cold, unsold, a bit bored. Joined by Dead Machines' Tovah Olson, though, those holistic tectonic-plate shifts take on a noise-rock cast—nauseating screeches, creepy whirs, tonal snags. Let's pray this is merely their first collaboration.

"A Makeshift Pissoir"

Flickering signals. Cables dragged on blacktop; fluid pouring down a concrete gullet. A hair-raising, too-real electrocution simulation with accompanying outcry; a shallow pool emptying into a drain, followed by a burp. These are probably the last things heard prior to being eaten alive.