Earth: "A Bureaucratic Desire for Extra Capsular Extraction" CD Review (Southern Lord) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Earth: "A Bureaucratic Desire for Extra Capsular Extraction" CD Review (Southern Lord)

Earth: Last month, Southern Lord released Earth’s complete first recordings from 1990 as a single CD/double-LP set entitled A Bureaucratic Desire For Extra-Capsular Extraction. While these tracks have trickled out over the past two decades on Earth’s debut EP “Extra-Capsular Extraction” (1991) and as bonus tracks appended to the reissue of Sunn Amps and Smashed Guitars (2001), Mell Dettmer remastered the tracks on this reissue/compilation and gives Earth some noticeable dynamics and edges to the music that weren’t heard on the original releases.

This recording has a storied history as Earth was signed to Sub*Pop during the first wave of grunge and came to Sub*Pop’s attention during a show where Earth was opening for L7. (This show sounds as stylistically different as when The Ramones opened for Black Sabbath). These sessions were recorded with Mike Lastra at Smegma Studios in 1990 and the session master tapes ultimately went missing. Bootlegs of then unreleased songs first surfaced as 16RPM singles and later the complete session was issued as a limited edition bootleg LP entitled 10 1990.

One has to admire Sub*Pop for signing Earth as this isn’t the sort of music that was (or is) going to get on the radio but yet it spawned a legion of followers (notably Sunn O)))). The disc’s seven tracks are mostly glacially slow drone. There is a dark overtone across the disc but there are also elements of beauty and light. The music builds upon repetitive, throbbing waves of guitar lines which seem to organically grow in size while still leaving space to breathe. The cold, industrial clanging of the drum machine adds an element of heaviness to the music but there is enough texture and light to keep the music from tipping over into the claustrophobic darkness that some of the bands that followed Earth embraced. Earth even comes close to a ‘radio friendly’ song as Kurdt Cobain and Kelly Canary (from Dicklesss) sing on “Divine and Bright”, which is the closest that Earth will ever get to the “Seattle sound”.

Earth have recently been added to the lineup for the Sunn O))) curated Roadburn Festival which takes place on April 15, 2011 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, Holland.