written by PostLibyan
The Great Saunites are a duo from Italy who make odd music that is a
kind of jazzy and kind of math-rock-ish at times. And you know how odd
Italian bands like EvilSponge, so of course they sent us a promo.
And it's really pretty good. It is a little weird, but it takes
classic math rock (think early Rodan), Krautrock (especially Can), and
late 60s psychedelic and mixes it all together. I guess the closest
thing that compares is Tortoise, but The Great Saunites are far more spastic.
The thing is, the band is a duo, and i am not sure how that works out
musically. There is prominent drumming, so someone is doing that.
Then there is guitarwork, spastic and grinding along, so someone is
doing that. Then most of the songs also layer in organ drones. Who
plays the organ? Is that sequenced? Is the drummer playing one hand on
the drums and one on the organ? I can't visualize this... But i guess
i am thinking of a live performance. In the studio, sure they can
record one part then layer in the other.
Anyway, i find that a little odd.
There are five songs in about 38 minutes here. Let's examine them.
The whole release starts with an awesome guitar riff in Cassandra.
The guitar is slightly distorted and bluesy, like something Tommy
Iommi would have played on the first couple of Black Sabbath Records.
The guitar positively squeals its way through this, backed by a steady
drum beat and a subtle organ drone. The overall effect is of some
acid-addled late 60s freakout, man!
A sample of chanting in a foreign language kicks of Medjugorje.
Shortly a distorted guitar riff is layered over, grinding under some
fuzzy distortion. The drums kick in, spastic, feverish, and the organ
drone is back. The band jams on this for eight minutes, guitar and
organ and percussion going all over the place.
Bottles & Ornaments starts with a some kind of distorted
reversed voice bit, organ drone, and the guitar playing long bluesy
notes like something from early Pink Floyd. Drumming thumps in and out
of this mind trip of a tune, which kind of floats around for just over
three and a half minutes. The Great Saunites follow up with another
short tune, Ocean Raves, this one just an acoustic guitar playing away, strummed and plinked.
And then we have the album’s closer, The Ivy which clocks in at 19:51. It is not the noodley 20 minute type of song that Landing
do, but 20 minutes of steady progression, the various parts looping
around each other, drums, guitar, keyboards all circling. It's pretty a
pretty fascinating jam. After 10 minutes, a voice comes in, and the
song becomes vaguely gothy, with really intense drumming! And then it
goes through a period where the keys are doing improv jazz, just
seemingly random noise stuff, and then it all wraps up with some Pink
Floyd-ish strumming similar to the previous tune. A pretty fascinating
progression, and the Great Saunites really make it work.
Overall, this is pretty interesting. It is kind of mathy, kind of
psychedelic, and kind of jazzy all at the same time. It will not appeal
to everyone, but it is pretty diffferent. I would say that i haven't
heard anything exactly like this before, and that is saying something.
They manage to pull it off too.