Monday, October 12, 2009
A few weeks ago I reviewed OM's new album, "God Is Good." As you might have figured out, I wasn't overly stoked with it as a follow up to Pilgrimage/Innerant Rays of the Sun. As a follow up to Gebel Berkel it was definitely an improvement but on a whole, I like the earlier shit better. Despite the lukewarm reception to the new album, I still love that band live so I got tix to see them at Europa with Brooklyn favorites Naam. Lichens and 6 Organs of Admittance also opened for them. Naam, as always fucking killed it and are sounding tighter and tighter every day. Robert, aka: Lichens played the delay pedals in a chair. Probably cool on album, definitely good for high people live. Somewhat boring as he just sat still with a microphone and a loop box throat singing into feedback loops for 30minutes. Pass the pipe please.
As for 6 Organs of Admittance... wrong bill. Stick to coffeehouses. If members of the audience are shushing other members so they can hear the band, you're at the wrong club, with the wrong crowd, and definitely on the wrong lineup. Go elsewhere. Probably would have been good if they were playing through a shit load of amps at a crushing volume with some sort of a rhythm section. On two acoustic guitars it sounded like the shit I used to hear the less retarded hippies try (significantly less well) to play at college. No thanks.
OM on the other hand. On fucking point from minute one. Started with To the Shrinebuilder and crushed songs from each one of their albums. Could have used a little more volume on Al's bass but other than that I'd say it was pretty fucking spot on.
Om with Emil is definitely a different beast all together. I meant to ask Al and Emil about this and the new album but never really got around to it. Busy times man. Anyways, for lack of a better term, I'd say Emil is a way more extroverted drummer than Chris Hakius. Where Chris really focuses on relentlessly hammering down the groove with no regard for fills or frills, Emil is all over the kit. Fills, rolls, beat changes, whatever. Unfortunately, it tends to be really distracting from the overall vibe that Chris was so heavy on setting up and holding down. Also, hombre really needs to remember the value of a change in dynamics.
Long and short: Dude kinda drums like an adorable yet overenthusiastic puppy. You know man, you like him, it makes you happy, he's a friendly little guy with a good heart that's in the right place but too noisy for the hunt. But, for this job, old yeller kicking around on the porch just chilling is the mutt for the job in this case.
Oh yeah, almost forgot one minor detail. OM now has three members. Robert of Lichens was doing all sorts of crazy shit like PLAYING FUCKING GUITAR! Yes, OM now has a guitar, a keyboard, some tambourine percussiony stuff, and a shit ton of delay effects. It's cool I guess. Again, somewhat distracting but really not too bad. I'm more of a minimalist though when it comes to my post-Sleep stoner drone doom.
Ok, now that I've gotten all the nitpicky annoying shit out of the way, this show layed it the fuck on. Thick. In the best way possible. It fucking ruled.
Al and Emil and Rob fucking barreled into the set and did what they do best. Play music to headbang slowly to. The audience and the band were totally on the same page, Al didn't miss a note, the new effects dude added some interesting new sections on to old songs that I wasn't expecting and definitely wasn't disappointed with. At one point between the last 2 songs of the set before the encore I actually heard Emil say to Al, "Man let's play more, the vibe is perfect in here." or something to that effect. All the songs were a little heavier and just barely faster than I remember them and it felt fucking good. Yesssss.
Next time though, Emil, dude, leave your pants on and stay behind the drumkit, you're harshing my mellow brah.