Ruby Kato Attwood and Alaska B
Photo by MATTHEW MAASKANT
I’ve been searching for new music. I’ve scoured through “the best” of 2011. Most of it includes bearded boy bands (though I still like ya Bon Iver, beard or no beard, and yes I still have a soft spot for Iron and Wine) and woe stricken 20 something girls with a lot of make up and great hair and of course a variety of one hit wonder bands that I find boring as all hell. I don’t remember how I stumbled upon Yamantaka // Sonic Titan – Psychic Handshake…but my ears are happy. I have never been able to say that I enjoy prog rock. Now I can.
You can listen to the whole album —> here (thank you Grooveshark for being so great).
“Thanks to smart, brisk sequencing, the seven disparate songs presented here hang together as a seamless piece, even if the thematic devices linking them aren’t so easy to discern: The tribal-ceremonial scene setter “Queens” offers references to ravens, snakes, hounds, and Alejandro Jodorowsky’s surrealist-horror classic The Holy Mountain, but it proves to be the only lyrically legible song on the album, as Ruby and Alaska become increasingly reliant on words of indeterminate language and ghostly harmonies. However, inscrutably titled songs like the funhouse-mirrored acid-pop of “Reverse Crystal//Murder of a Spider” and the space-age stomper “Hoshi Neko” nonetheless display an insidiously melodic quality that suggests Stereolab on steroids. And where these songs foreground YT//ST’s eccentric side, the nightmarish, seven-minute colossus “A Star Over Pureland” showcases their command of brute physicality, pitting the ladies’ echo-drenched shrieks against a relentless, jackhammered fuzz-metal assault, like Fly-era Yoko Ono waging war with Lightning Bolt. Yamantaka//Sonic Titan may still aspire to the sort of conceptual grandeur that requires an Olympic Stadium to contain it, but right now, what they’re really good at is putting the “raw” in prog”. -Stuart Berman, Pitchfork Magazine
See the full Pitchfork article —–> here