Friday, November 25, 2011

Gorge Trio - Open Mouth, O' Wisp

2004; 22 tracks

Two words I might use to describe Gorge Trio, an instrumental band from New England: seemingly aimless.

"With Open Mouth, O' Wisp, the group moves from the broad strokes of the past to a series of densely packed miniatures, all 22 of which clock in at a running time that just breaks the half-hour mark. There have always been Russian egg constructs within their previous lengthy jams, but here some of the layers are given markers, allowing listeners to step into the fractured crossfire as well as enjoy this as a well-constructed whole. The more constructed pieces here, like 'Intimate Addition,' recall the Gorge Trio's other incarnation as Colossamite stripped of the heavy rock gestures (screaming vocals and two volumes: loud and louder) that aligned that group with the math rock of Don Caballero, placing the trio closer to the source, Captain Beefheart. There are other moments worth calling out, too, like guest Keiko Beers' flute turn on 'Invisible Student,' but they all amount to points on a very busy map that begs to be taken in as a whole. And the whole is quite marvelous, an epic in miniature that encourages repeated listening."

"It's not easy music, but it's also not difficult to like. It fulfills the ears you didn't know you had, shaking a brainstem in its ozone with an ether fiddle. Every note seems compressed to the last degree and scratchy pitches burst forth like mercury through steel wool, scattering about a Donald Judd surface of maximum refraction. It's darned near impossible."



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