15 DEGREES BELOW ZERO: MORPHINE DAWN
MCD: Crunch Pod Media 26 [2004]
Ltd x 500


Waiting For Laraine
Is Anybody There?
Downs. Part One
Sunshine

From the scorching wall of white noise in the intro to 'Waiting For Laraine'", the first track on this new four-tracker from Crunch Pod Media, I thought the rest of the CD would be much more harsh and abrasive than it actually turned out to be. Admittedly, 'Is Anybody There?' is somewhat chaotic, with shards of sound leaping between the speakers and reverb-soaked percussion crackling away amid layers of buzz and hum; and granted, the spaces behind the drones and strings in 'Sunshine' are filled with echoing fragments of noise like the sound of distant explosions. But the textures are sparse, warm and organic, rather than dense, cold and artificial, and on 'Waiting For Laraine' and 'Downs, Part One' the focus is much more firmly on the lo-fi guitars, stretching their melancholy strings across landscapes scarred with sadness and record noise.

The overall effect is very American-gothic, like Angelo Badalementi conducting a strange orchestra from the bottom of a vast, empty grain silo somewhere on the edge of the desert - as they play a soundtrack for a movie that will never be made. Fans of the later Swans work and the plethora of projects that followed them will be very much at home here. There is apparently an album ready to roll as soon as 15 Degrees... can find a publisher; get the EP now for a taste of what's to come.

ABC

[15 Degrees Below Zero] / [Crunch Pod Media]

Direct Link: http://www.auralpressure.com/review/123/15degreesbelow0_morphine.html