Ecstasy and apoplexy fight an eternal battle painted by distortion and out-rock on this, the debut of Scottish duo The Web Of Lies. Nude With Demon is an album of know-wave drone rockism that wields Glenn Branca-ish slabs of guitar, chanted vocals courtesy of guest performances by a host of underground luminaires and a willingness to go further into the borders between aggression and passion.
You only have to scan the contributors to know you are IN for a trip. The guitars, as frayed, ragged, wild, juiced up, gasolined, fired in as they are, are courtesy of Edwin Stevens, whose Irma Vep project is one of Glasgow’s best, a one-man cult of wit, trance-rock and purility of the highest fashion. Receiver blasts off into the mud, recalling the furthest out Sonic Youth jams (we’re talking the freakouts) overlayed with a Sonny Sharrock-like ecstatic guitar, with Stevens odd tuned guitar strings bouncing and throbbing around the drum parts laid down by other full time member Neil Robinson (also of Buffet Lunch.) Followers of Stevens’ work in Irma Vep will recognise some of the tropes he’s made his own language, a pathos-laden Welsh accented delivery that occasionally throws down the sort of one liner that brings out belly laughs in statues.
Other contributors like Neil Cambell of Astral Social Club, fellow Leeds-er Kathryn Gray bring their own flavours, as do half of Glasgow group Vital Idles Ruari MacLean and Jessica Higgins but what’s remarkable about the scree-ing mulch that bilges out of the speakers with this crew is the togetherness. Whether the group are launching down the highway with rips into the parallel universe or in the more straightfoward, psyche tinged songs like Best Friend it sounds like one band who’re umbillically connected in the mind. At times it recalls The Sundowners grappling with classic 60s psyche songwriting, at others it’s like a New York loft that’s had a close encounter of the third kind, if the UFOs were like, I don’t know, planet sized Minotaurs who’re up for cross breeding with these cats.
We don’t mind proclaiming Stevens as one of the most exciting guitarists in the UK, but this is a group effort and while music isn’t a competition, this record is probably the guitar album to beat in 2022. Really, really outstanding.
Nude With Demon – The Web Of Lies has been added to your bag.