Left Limbs | Hexes
Buzzhowl Records (DL/Cassette)
Available now for digital download and/or on black cassette compliments of Buzzhowl Records is ‘Hexes’ – the second release by the Austin, Texas duo ‘Left Limbs.’ Raul Buitrago’s and Jacob Saheb’s forces combine for the live recording from September 1st 2018. The pair performed two supporting shows for the album release in early July of 2019. I don’t often envy those who live in Texas but to witness the two extraordinarily talented multi-instrumentalists in action must have certainly been a treat for attendees. Engineered and mastered by Jason Morales and Kris Lapke respectively, this album translates the event as close as it comes to having been there.
Like shrapnel gliding through a cold deep void is the shrill guitar introduction to ‘Procaine Gate.’ Syncopated tom and loosed spasmic snare rolls temper the avant-jazz electronic noise rock. The addendum of metallic cracks follows in this, the first of two tracks comprising ‘Hexes.’ A hastening of pauses and time-laden rests in the grinding experimental guitar work unfolds. The electronics, violin, percussion and guitars fiddle in an evolving conundrum which intrigues the ear and baffles the imagination for those unfortunately not present at the show. The concentration is keen and sheer. Around minute nine an exploding uproarious heavy of discordant pounding drone repetitions bleeds into a quaking ease and quickly fading outro.
‘Sean Van Grants Me Passage,’ the second track, is substantially underlined by a host chorusing undertone which warbles in basic feedback. The first four minutes emulates the themes previously established – if slightly more slowly and executed. A few plucks on the guitar strings births a sort of passing thin melody like a watery refresher before fuzz, feedback and ritualistic pounding drums flesh out a kind of exorcismic restrained aggression. Around minute eight, the guitar sets into a certain sustained clench as bits of effects skim about. It’s as if a satellite’s frequencies cut in and out of a radio transmitter. Power chord riffing clamors forth a rock structure until the audience is again given the satisfaction of a tag ending – this time a singular note and minimalist drum hits.
Exceedingly well balanced, the just-under-a-half-an-hour album is daftly accessible and palpable. The fusion of improv noise and traditional rock influence pendulums a bit. However, there isn’t a moment when both elements aren’t present. The energy and composition of the live recording is preserved free of overdubs. No dubbing necessary for the two conduct something surprisingly well developed and masterful as well as emphatically edgy.