Power Hör

A peculiar name for a peculiar band, Seattle’s Lesbian operate with the same style-hopping liberty as Kayo Dot, Estradasphere, Mr. Bungle, and Between the Buried and Me, in that they phase between techniques/moods much like hyperspace micro-jumps in the Star Wars universe. Unlike these comparisons, however, they tend to frequent doomier and more psychedelic realms, so naturally they found a home at Portland, Oregon’s Holy Mountain label (Om, Mammatus, Six Organs of Admittance) that’s well-suited for their brand of experimentation. Power Hör features only four tracks, though they range from eight to twenty-four minutes in length, resulting in over an hour of sonic trials and research—like a post-doc Michio Kurihara jamming with Church of Misery without the use of feedback.

“Black Forest Hamm” starts with lurching black-metal chords and tortured vocals from bassist/singer Dorando Hodous, then dips into gothy, Daylight Dies-styled melodies. In turn, this veers into chunky thrash riffage before ending with prog-wristed wankery. After several minutes of ambient washes, “Powerwhorses” picks up with jangly, C Average guitars that switch to sparse doom structures as if the Fucking Champs were attempting to cover Reverend Bizarre in epic-metal fashion. The opening guitars of the 24-minute whopper “Loadbath” strum gently like the most serene Mandible Chatter, then lean toward lighter versions of Robert Fripp’s chordal repetition à la the League of Gentlemen. Guitar synths give an underlying impression of early Pink Floyd for the first five minutes, then the Burning Witch-y (and eventually Cathedral) riffs march in to decimate the quietus with blastbeats, divebombing guitars…and subsequently goes through several more stages of soft/harsh aural modifications. Some sections of “Irreversible” use chord progressions comparable to A Farewell to Kings-era Rush, while others heft a black-metal hammer or previously heard doom trappings.

With eye-popping album art by Sunn0)))’s Stephen O’Malley, Power Hör wiggles its way out of any definitive pigeonholing in the psych-metal field (think again if Yob or Middian popped up on your radar). As the term “lesbian” stands for a freedom of sexuality that’s still limited by specific tenets, so are Lesbian free to experiment within the confines of the metal world.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Chris Ayers
June 20th, 2007


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