Last Worldly Bondby Primordial Undermind
From the opening "I Am Afraid of You," starting with overlaid guitar skronks and muffled noise sounding somewhere between a mechanistic jazz warmup and a not quite functioning factory, Eric Arn and the current Primordial Undermind lineup continue to pursue Arn's own unsettled vision of psychedelic impulses on Last Worldly Bond. The bond the album title refers to might not just be the last but also heavily frayed; Arn's fierce soloing on the extended opening number, set aside a slightly scraping fiddle and the steady rhythm section, is not aiming at a soundtrack to a pleasant trip. Split among six tracks ranging from five to 15 minutes, Last Worldly Bond, recorded live in the studio, is about a single-minded pursuit of something, wherever it leads. "Never at a Loss" is the one song with lyrics, Arn starting with the appropriately Whitman referencing line "I sing the body electric," his voice sounding neither resigned nor morose but just a bit peaceful, a contemplation that hasn't left louder energy behind entirely. Slower explorations -- like the slightly twisted, near country twang on "Wer Tauben Füttert, Füttert Ratten" over a rhythm that moves from almost not there to a slow rush of percussion, squall, and more, and "Minute Wasps" with its sudden pauses and shifts in activity between tense, trebly bursts and contemplative fills -- explore that feeling further. A more rocked-up chug like "Time Being" also showcases that uneasy edge; where it's easy to imagine a band like Kinski making it a clean and focused rampage, Arn and company almost spark to life a bit and careen forward, layers of soloing driving it all, then pulling aside to check the brakes before saying "To hell with it" and crashing forward again. "Not an Atom That I Can't Feel" ends the album touching all bases but also in perhaps its most relatively structured way, from tighter cello-punctuated riffing to a final steady end.
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