AMN Reviews: Slobber Pup – Pole Axe (2015; RareNoiseRecords)

unnamedSlobber Pup is a collaboration between Jamie Saft on organs and synths, Joe Morris on guitars, Mats Gustafsson on sax, and Balazs Pandi on drums. Given some of the recent works featuring these gentlemen, such as Cuts of Guilt, Cuts Deeper and The Spanish Donkey’s Raoul, one might go into this soon-to-be-released 2013 recording with a rough idea of its character. And these assumptions will probably not be far from the mark.

Each contributor has his trademark style, such as Morris’s aggressively idiosyncratic guitar, Pandi playing the drums as a lead instrument, and Gustafsson’s squawks, drones, and extended techniques. If anyone takes something of a background role, it is Saft, whose subtle organ establishes a solid base upon which the others improvise.

But this is not a total in-your-face recording. There is a surprising amount of spaciousness amongst the busyness, with each instrumentalist given ample time to showcase his individual efforts. The album begins with the 29-minute Pole Of Combustible Memory, a deliberately-paced journey that explodes into an outside free-for-all around the two-thirds mark.  Bring Me My Desire And Arrows To Shoot begins with discordant drones and showcases Gustafsson in a prominent role, providing rough textures and atmospherics. The album concludes with Incendiary Axe, a short burst of energy which features a blistering sax line over crazed drumming. Saft’s organ sweeps then come into play, as well as Morris at his speed-picking best.

Pole Axe will be released on October 30 by RareNoiseRecords.

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