High Aura’d/Blood Bright Star [Review]

HA_BBS Front CoverA unique offering from Baltimore’s newish Anti-Matter Records, this 7” has all the qualities I praise of Anarchymoon’s releases: an immediately arresting cover (an etching and text screened in silver and greens, by Reuben Sawyer), sleeve custom to the release (heavy gatefold holding the glowing-green disk), a split (deferring ego; the tracks don’t even outlast the sides), and most important, a pairing of creative forces united by elective affinities. Stalwart lurker John Kolodij takes his High Aura’d project to (another) new height with “Remain in Light”: featuring vocals by Glenna van Nostrand, the sizzling drone comes swallowed in the throat of the singer with a heavy resemblance to Rob Lowe’s Lichens, but also drone-heavies like Growing or Tecumseh. Perhaps if Grouper would “ride the lightning” more often, she’d approximate something close. And with true commitment to the 7” single format, the dusty flash settles into the white silence of a locked groove. “Golden Blood Part II” is Sawyer’s contribution as Blood Bright Star, a one-man roadhouse band in the vein of Religious Knives and Wooden Shijps. Less Kraut and more a Doughboy form of reverberant rock, the dirt-‘stached sequel sweats and squirms and wears the house on its shoulders like an overgrown kid, an eternal punk codified in the Axis-powered rhythms of not German, but Japanese psyhedelia. Brief but bright, it’s a wonderful mangle of traditions. Recommended!

Anti-Matter 7”

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