BAND OF THE WEEK: EARTHLESS + TEETH OF THE SEA

7 Oct

As surely as the earth and sea are one, the distance between Earthless and Teeth of the Sea, seemingly untraversable, is closer than it looks – perhaps defined by the indefinable, although the destination is never in question.

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Earthless is, of course, the most appropriate of names, given that the trio seems unwilling or unable to remain within the ordinary orbit of our fine planet for more than a moment at a time. And yet, despite this weightlessness, despite the interstellar yearning that runs through “From the Ages” as naturally as blood through the veins, there’s something endearingly down to earth about Earthless.

Think of it – the band uses a spectacularly simple set-up to deliver the listener to the third ring of Saturn. It’s nothing more than a well-fueled power-trio core that lights the Earthless ignition switch – “Vincebus Eruptum” taken to its expansive, evolutionary extreme, without a vocal mic, and loaded with enough clean-burning rocket fuel to have us searching the album’s liner notes furiously, dead-set on confirming our suspicions that the whole thing was recorded at the Jet Propulsion Laboratories.

Let us be clear: if you don’t enjoy hearing someone play a guitar – someone play a guitar magnificently, unhurriedly and yet aggressively – then “From the Ages” is not the album for you. However, if you do enjoy hearing someone play a guitar – someone play a guitar phenomenally, quintessentially stoned but beautiful – then “From the Ages” is the album for you.

And once you’ve secured the pressurized Earthless flight helmet on your head, there is no escape; the flight path has been set. Just before the nine-minute mark of “Uluru Rock,” guitarist Isaiah Mitchell switches to a gear that’s not yet been defined – simultaneously noisy and narcotic, a comforting scream of amplified bliss. It’s the macrocosmic, expansive Earthless universe momentarily minimized into one microcosmic, twenty-second time capsule. It took awhile, Jim – but Earthless have saved time in a bottle.

Meanwhile, in another sector of the multiverse, Teeth of the Sea seem to take every cosmically created music element jettisoned before the latest Earthless journey and twist those sounds into submission, subdued by this “Master.”

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How even to begin to describe Teeth of the Sea? How even to begin describing, “Master”? If the Earthless launch skyward is achieved with only the essential equipment – guitar, bass, drums and a metric ton of creativity – than Teeth of the Sea achieve similar orbits through the employ of aerodynamics and precision equipment, not to mention that same metric ton of creativity. Teeth of the Sea is like a prototype, the experimental spacecraft equivalent of what a band could be like in the future, representing the outer limits of sundry sonic sciences working together (while still being able to enjoy the odd Slayer riff now and again) . It’s remarkable – more so because Teeth of the Sea ensure that the future is happening right here, right now. The future is now and it’s your master.

Roaring guitars have their place on “Master” as well, but that roar just as often finds itself interlocked with snaking synths and robotic rhythms, in sync with horns and backup singers and probably an amplified jet engine or two as well. Gauges are checked and angles are calculated through the entire flight of “Master,” with not a single sound falling out of place, out of time.

Through it all, “Master” is never anything short of being anthemic, from “Reaper” to “Responder,” even if the anthem transmitted is, “All Human Are Error.” But make no mistake – “Master” is an absolutely remarkable achievement, an eternally satisfying electric exegesis of a future sound that never was, is now and still may be.

From the Ages” is now available from TeePee Records.

Master” is now available from Rocket Recordings.

“When we see human life only from that narrow view of time, we are blind to the total picture of time. This is a big problem. It is like always climbing a mountain and never seeing the mountain from a distance. Sometimes, to understand the life of the mountain, you have to see the beauty of the mountain as a whole, connected with the clouds and the sky. We cannot ignore or escape from the stream of time. We must be there. But we cannot be blind.” – Dainin Katagiri, “Each Moment Is the Universe

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One Response to “BAND OF THE WEEK: EARTHLESS + TEETH OF THE SEA”

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. EARTHLESS: OFFICIAL AUSTIN PSYCH FEST 2014 INTERVIEW | Revolt of the Apes - February 13, 2014

    […] defies description, though we tried our best when naming the band Revolt of the Apes’ “Band of the Week” late last year, declaring their “From the Ages” album to be “loaded with […]

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