Birchville Cat Motel
Gunpowder Temple of Heaven
(2008 Pica Disk )
Verdict: A wave of sonic bliss
Mr. Thistle in multiple instances of musical nerdiness has blushed over how Birchville Cat Motel is the best band name ever (or at least currently). Now personally I feel combining the words wolf, black and, the eff bomb in any order would result in something far more marketable and indie hip, but I guess that doesn't have too much to do with how awesome this record is. Discussing an album such as Gunpowder Temple of Heaven and why it's worth your time over the mountains of mundane and uninspired experimental, drone, and noise that seems to be filling too many iPod's these day's isn't overly easy for me. You see, I could take this outing and another drone filled album that bores me to tears and I'd most likely use the same Pitchfork approved descriptions to give you the technicals. But I guess the difference between an experimental success and failure is heart (or in harsher genre's a complete lack thereof). I guess what I'm trying to say is even though it's hard for me to pinpoint why something like this is far superior to other drone outings, I can still sense the care that goes into an artist's labor of love over an artist's half hearted improvisation. And I can only assume great care went into Gunpowder Temple of Heaven. The single 40 minute track consists of an organ drone that's gently met with his pitch shifted brethren. Everything on this album is so patient and unfolding that you feel like you're being rolled in a gentle wave or carried by the leaves in a progressing wind. While I wouldn't suggest this album to those who get easily distracted, if you have ears to hear I'm sure you'll find one of the more rewarding musical experiences of 2008.
Gunpowder Temple of Heaven sample