Over the past few years Damon McMahon’s Amen Dunes project has been serving up loose and crackly, almost improvised psych-raga jams. Recall last year’s super-limited The Spoiler and 2011’s Through Donkey Jaw (TMT Review). Now we’ve got a brand new full-length called Love on the horizon (“horizon” = May 13, fyi), and where McMahon’s pumped out “largely improvisational first-take affairs, recorded in a matter of weeks at most” in the past, he says Love took him close to a year-and-a-half to put together.
You can feel all that extra time leaking out from the core of “Lonely Richard,” which comes across pretty staid and pulled-in-close. The scratchy patina of reverb gathers all the sounds together here instead of jangling them apart (cf. “Ethio Song,” from the Ethio Covers 7-inch, or “Christopher” from Through Donkey Jaw), and everything’s rubber-banded up tight by the background violin. The whole deal softly, softly chugs along partly because of that little drum beat, the one that practically lopes while it loops. It’s all quarter note snare, kick on the “ands” of three and four. You know, the one that I irrationally associate with The Breeders every time I hear it but for some reason on a cursory skim through The Breeders’ catalog can’t come up with a real reason why that’s the case? Maybe you actually didn’t know that, because now that I think of it, that’s a pretty specific piece of information about me and why would you know it? You know it now at least. One slightly more relevant things you also oughta know is that Iceage’s Elias Bender Rønnenfelt is featured on this track, and, woah buddy, he even gets his duet on with McMahon on “Green Eyes” later on in Love.
• Amen Dunes: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Amen-Dunes/226703240696221
• Sacred Bones: http://www.sacredbonesrecords.com