A New Way to Pay Old Debts
RIYL = Derek Bailey, Ekkehard Ehlers, Stefan Neville
How to explain the epically insane solo guitar dirges of Mr. Bill Orcutt...? Somehow – I don’t know how honestly – Orcutt has twisted and contorted the neck, strings and body his guitar into a manic blitz of hyper fractured blues instrumentals that obliterate not only everything you thought about what it is to play the blues, but what it is to play the guitar. His playing is so violently virtuosic, so prickled and cuttingly sharp, one imagines that sliding a white piece of paper underneath his frets would produce the same results as would a paper shredder. The playing is maddeningly aggressive and incredibly unique to the point of Orcutt meandering into some new invention of guitar splatter; some sublevel of blues guitar that scrapes away at the gutters ceaselessly, harsh and relentless, noodled straight into the psyche. On the opening track from the B side, “My Reckless Parts,” Orcutt even adds his own brand of vocals to the mix in the form of some birdlike caws. Such a blur of great ideas, intense playing and hardcore musicianship fashioned through a labyrinth of fingers and strings. At just over a half hour, A New Way to Pay Old Debts is an ungodly revelation of mammoth proportions and definitely worth digging into. Astounding.