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HALL, NATE  Electric Vacuum Roar  CD   (Heart & Crossbone)   11.98
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     Killer psychedelic heaviness! U.S. Christmas guitarist / singer Nate Hall follows up a pair of killer solo appearances on Neurot with this new two-song dip into the cosmic whirlpool, raining down a pair of fairly epic-length psych jams that shudder with Hall's trademark low-slung riffery and penchant for star-scorching effects splooge. This really hit the spot when I threw it on earlier in the midst of a rather depressing workday; the first track "Dance Of The Prophet" howls across the first half of the disc, sending some languidly lysergic power-blooze noodling soaring through a fog of delay and flange effects, billowing out across waves of rumbling distorted amplifier drone and distant slo-mo drumming, almost sounding in those first few minutes like some classic Acid Mothers style space-psych being played back at quarter speed.

     Once Hall drifts in with those far-off, incantatory vocals, though, this definitely starts to resemble the sort of Appalachian sludge-psych he's been delivering with his main band for the past decade. It's a different spin on it though, incorporating subtle bits of electronic glitchery and manipulated guitar sounds to craft something a little more spacey and surreal. The whole thing meanders across the disc, both tracks oozing into long stretches of barely formed bleariness and wailing guitar drone, seeping strange shortwave frequencies and drifting into passages of haunting glacial twang, a kind of slow moving and sun-blasted sinister psychedelia beamed in from some rustic black nebulae mapped out by Manly Wade Wellman, rife with moments of startling stark majesty. And on the second song "Long Howling Decline / People Fall Down", Hall cranks up the amps for an even heavier descent into an acid-fried hypno-rock ritual, the frantic howl of Crazy Horse tumbling in reverse up through an ancient mine shaft, before finally breaking apart into a searing blast of solarized feedback and ghostly feedback drone that transforms into a beautiful elegiac passage that climbs upward across the finale of the album, which turns out to be a cover of a song from Idaho psych rockers Caustic Resin, who's Brett Netson (also of Built To Spill) actually appears on this album on additional guitar and bass. If you're into the likes of Hall's main band, the country-fried doom n' twang of recent Neurosis, the glacial rural gothic of latter day Earth, and the blown-out saurian country rock of Across Tundras, then this is one you're definitely going to want to pick up.


Track Samples:
Sample : HALL, NATE-Electric Vacuum Roar
Sample : HALL, NATE-Electric Vacuum Roar