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Old Time Relijun | Witchcraft Rebellion (K)
The second album from Washington based Old Tim Relijun boasts yet another cover festooned with Goth graphics and song titles dredged from the mortuary (what is it this year, the long awaited and feared Goth revival perhaps?) Led by the suspiciously named Arrington De Dionyso, the trio initially bring to mind the likes of 16 Horsepower and The Gun Club but as you sink further into this short (32 minute) album, layers like onion skins peel off and reveal much more within. Cunieform is a dead ringer for Captain Beefheart circa Troutmaskreplica with a squealing sax break that squawks like a pig being mutilated while the ferocious, possessed vocal of Vampire Sushi sounds like Iggy Pop undergoing torture. The obsession with Goth material permeates the lyrics but musically there's something genuinely exciting going on: dig the sleazy sex beat loops and samples of Dark Of The Male, Light Of The Female or the multiplied, spluttering saxes of Mercury Snake that sound like the ghost of Coltrane whacked out on crack. It's on the instrumental tracks where the band really fly, unconstrained by the somewhat grating vocal hiccups and yelps of De Dionyso, they take off to a frighteningly intense plane. Fermantatio, perhaps the best track here, is like John Zorn playing Hendrix - the agonised death scream of a great omniscient computer - a brutal and exhilarating rush of energy and madness. The rest of the album skirts around such brilliance, dipping by way of the ambient-Gothic of The Book Of Life And Crime and ending on the barely contained frenzy of the title track. Consistently challenging and original instrumentation and arrangements mark this out as one of the skewed treats of the year so far.
CWAS #8 - Summer 2001