8 November 2015

The Transcendents - Common Ground EP




Catching up with promised review today - this time it is from an act who are sitting on the other side of the planet to me.  This is from an act called the Transcendents who are from Christchurch in New Zealand (a place I will one day visit - I have always wanted to go there instead of Australia).  They are signed to Spirit Ditch records (or it might be their label - either way it is a good name at least) and there is at least five people in the band - or so this photo from their Bandcamp page -

They got in touch (or someone from Spirit Ditch records did) towards the end of October to see if we would review their latest EP.  I have held this one back a week or so after I promised as I wanted to give it a few more spins.  I will releive more to my reasoning in a moment or two, but I want to say one thing - whilst I may not have checked out all of their releases - their covers are beautiful.  As a man who adores landscapes and (for some bizarre reason) religious icons made normal, I love the images of this band.  So as this is an EP, it will be interesting to see what it is bring to the musical world.

Starting the EP is "Doppelgänger" which is introduced in a sharp whiplash of feedback for a few seconds and then there is a drone, a simple repetitive sound of a guitar being plucked and you have a Captain Beefheart drone going on till about the one minute, forty odd second (as well as the three minute forty nine second) section/s of the song as they band explode in a way that is not would not have been expected when you first listened to the song.  It seems very stark as a song and it demands your full attention, whilst seeming a little too strange for your average Joe.  It is by design in my opinion - if these cats have not listened to Zappa and Beefheart, I will be very surprised.  It is very drone and I think that even from one song that people will make up their mind about this band before another note is heard.  "Polly's Running Out Of Patience" is a gentle Beefheart track, nothing else and nothing more.  It is just a drone noise item that will not make sense to people who are not chemically enhanced, have been off the beaten path or who have a strange mix of everything and nothing.  This is so far from the mainstream that a map, compass and heat signature will not help it.  Once more, it is not for the general unwashed as there is nothing which will remotely mean music - but it is strangely beautiful for all those strange reasons.  The penultimate track of this release is "Solvent Blues" which is a sub two minute song is strangely long, it takes a while to get to its point and even then it will not make much sense to the general populace of the planet.  It is a drone noise that will make sense to a few only, but it have enough in the background to make sense to me, it might not be the most original song to these ears, it is still performed very well.  Ending this EP is "Best Guess" which sounds as if it has been created by the few and not the five.  It is sparse at best and is without a rhythm or sense in the modern term of music.  Because of then I love it, it is a child of the good Captain and St. Zappa.  However I would like to add this is the one track that need more to it, even noise needs a little more.

With this EP you are only going to get a brief introduction to what the band is about, but it is a very strange place. Considering that there is five people on their promo photo, at times it feels as if there is only one person behind this band - their credits are labelled as revolving credits on the album and it makes a sort of sense.  It is a random noise release and for what it is, it is a good EP; however I really would like to hear what else they are trying to say.  You really have to be into your bat crap crazy noise/out there punk stuff here, it is great release in that strange specific tastes that I have; however I will have to check out their full release before I make a true opinion on this band.  So - box of cats it is....

Crazy Cat symbol - This album cannot be marked, so here is a box of kittens



Top track - Doppelgänger

You can purchase the album from the Common Ground from the Transcendents from their Bandcamp page here

You can follow the actitivites of The Transcendents on Facebook here

You cannot stream on Spotify, etc - however as you can get the EP from Bandcamp on a 'name your own price' deal, you can get it for free - but give them some funds, acts like this deserve it.

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