Sunday, June 9, 2013

Low Visibility

Greetings again, my fellow prisoners, it's been quite a while since last I did an album review (or at least anything with a semblance of my worth mentioning). As a matter of fact, this blog piece, in particular, had been sitting in draft mode for almost two years, so I figured better late than never! Anyways, I became aware of this band when an old acquaintance of mine, Rimsky Pons (whom I've had the chance to actually run into for just a handful of times... sorry I don't get out much, buddy!) had recently regrouped half of the rockin' team combo from his previous self-titled incarnation (i.e. Rimsky) and done an almost complete 360 (in as far as sound goes).

The new sound is heavier, faster, takes no prisoners, offers no excuses, shoots first, and asks questions later... leaving the listener with an almost immediate: ---- "What...or better yet; who the fuck is this?"

The universal question that'll surely prompt anyone (who hopefully hasn't had one shot too many yet) within earshot to exclaim:

- It's Low Visibility, ya idiot!
- Who?
- You know, that cat that used to be in the rock band Rimsky?
- You mean Rimsky, right?
- Yeah, what the fuck am I speaking here?!? Almish Chinese?
- Well, Mazel tov to you, ya friggin' acehole!

And only then will a fight most likely ensue, but not before the man himself shows up and temporarily draws the audience's attention to him, before he'll summon the crowd back to the makeshift rumble in the jungle going on and then proceed to take bets on the whole damn scene.

Well, actually that's just a lot of poetic license on my part... and the irony is that that particular license is already way passed its expired status. Truth is, Rimsky wouldn't do something like that... at least, not yet anyways! At least, not 'til he's had a couple of cases (not shots, mind you; we're talkin' major leagues only--- twelve packs here buddy) and a moment up on stage to rape the ever lovin' shit outta yer ear canals. And then some!

I haven't been fortunate enough to stay up late to witness one of his live acts. In fact, I only came about a flea's butt hair away from witnessing my first Low Visibility show a couple of weeks back. And I regret every minute of my waking life for not mustering up enough energy to shake off the night of the living dead status that's been plaguing my near dead carcass for the last couple of years (i.e. sporadic insomnia). It only seems to hit me at the most inopportune of moments. And this engagement was one of them!

So, as I was just sittin' around and mindin' my own business, I logged onto my Facebook account only to notice that the guitar wielding curmudgeon had left me a wall post with a Low Visibility player, which peaked my interest enough to press play and then sit back and enjoy the fun air guitar romp that was sure to ensue moments later. I've taken the libery of embedding the code for that player of his, but it doesn't contain the same songs that I heard (or am listening to as I write up this post), so I'm just going to give you an account of what I just experienced... sort of like Anne Sullivan would for the sake of all the Helen Kellers around the world.

The first song I listened to was We Don't Repent, and it started off with a wailing feedback, as all good songs do... just to build up the pace up that sonic hill, before the fast tempo kicks in and pushes you over the cliff. I found it to be reminiscent of just about any Flaming Lips sound experiment you can name out there, that is before it abruptly shifted gears into no frills, no excuses, shoot to kill, and take no prisoners stomp of a lightin' fast musical execution. It was like putting Iggy Pop, with Motörhead, with a little dab of Led Zeppelin just for texture.

Another thing I admire about the catalogs of musicians such as Rimsky is that most of the time the guitar volume is strategically increased just a little bit above the vocals. Bad engineering you say? Hardly. It's a clever rouse to make the dimwitted listener pay close attention to the words. And if you're so bold as to track the mother down and get a copy of the disc and the lyrics to go with it, then you'll easily understand the brilliant formula at play here, which will always involve a clever hook and refrain that'll eventually wind up tattooing itself into your subconscious long enough before it starts manifesting itself up on the surface. And before you know it, you'll be singing along to tunes such as Pony Up (which has a brilliant guitar riff, that can only be described as a punk rocker's answer to an architectural musical group such as Yes).

Another favorite track of mine is Too Many Days in the Desert, which is just riddled with a myriad of guitar phrases. The beat reminds me of Phantom Planet's Big Brat, only it's warmer, and less crisp treble-wise. Again, anyone can clearly see the no apologies whatsoever, take it or leave it, song craft of an approach here as orchestrated by the likes of Rimsky and his musical cohorts of the sonic tour de force that is Low Visibility. Moments later, listening to the song Poison Arrow reminds me of the earlier offerings of the Rimsky repertoire. But alas, this isn't Rimsky anymore, it's Low Visiblity, ya dig?

The song I'll Be Goddamned without a doubt is my favorite off of the player. The heavy mid, with the moderate chop that is the headwind of sweet bottom end on this tune conjures up visions of Alice Cooper and bears some semblances to The Who's earlier pop laden efforts. But I don't want to go into complete detail here over how gaga I am over this album; not because I'm pressed for time or anything, but because I simply don't want to spoil it for all the other uninitiated listeners out there. All I can tell ya is simply do yer ears a favor and crank the volume up and listen to these musical mofo's while you still can!


As usual, this has been P.S. Elliott (or Dr. Gonzo XXVII) reporting for the disassociated blog that is The Gnoyze Guitar Mods & More Web Blog.

And Now, A Word from Our Sponsors...