♫♪  Moonsicles - “Slow Owl” / “Coyote Pretzel”

I’m really obsessed with the idea of rock bands forming to make music that is largely divorced from any traditional notion of rock music. This isn’t entirely a new idea but in recent years, there’s been a huge influx of bands like Zs, Horse Lords, Sunn 0)) and others who have created works that continually challenge exactly what a rock band is. In many instances, these artists use extended technique and processing to blur their instruments into new textures much in the same way a Ligeti or Stockhausen piece would. However, artists working in this “band as ensemble” mode also choose to warp the formal structure of typical rock/pop music and that’s where the Austin based Moonsicles comes in.

Instead of concerning themselves with complex suite-like forms, Moonsicles revels in an icy stasis unlike both doom metal or kraut rock while still containing elements of both these genres in their sound. This music isn’t concerned with either drone or groove as much as it is with additive textures that sometimes coalesce into slow pulses and flitting melody/harmony. Take for instance, “Slow Owl”, the leading track off of the recently released Creeper where burbling synth textures gradually give way to slow moving drums and lovely two chord riffing before collapsing back into the sustained ripples that begin the song. Similarly, “Coyote Pretzel” exhausts a single chord while gradually building in texture. What’s notable about Moonsicles’ compositions is that unlike most bands mining similar minimalist territory, their music truly revels in beautiful stasis that develops without dynamic climaxes or radical structural changes. It’s lovely band based ambient music that comes across as a synthesis of Earth’s recent work and the slow changing compositions of Nicholas Szczepanik.

Creeper is available now via the band’s website. You can stream both tracks below:

• Moonsicles http://www.moonsicl.es

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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