Eyes and Arms of Smoke A Religion of Broken Bones

[Cenotaph; 2005]

Rating: 4/5

Styles: psych commune folk
Others: Warmer Milks, Wooden Wand, Comus

Dude, you hear that Hair Police sold out? Whaa? Yeah, they totally just made an "Unplugged" album with acoustic versions of "Bee Scrape" and "Rare Animals." Are you dense, man? Are you the same kid who writes crappy reviews of Sung Tongs on Amazon? The new album that you are talking about is by Eyes and Arms of Smoke, and it features two members of Hair Police, Trevor Tremaine and Robert Beatty. It's an album of psych-folk music sprinkled with little Zappaisms, like weirdo descending vocals and clarinet and viola solos. No shit. Yeah it's the shit. The whole thing has this trapped-in-a-dungeon-with-a-bunch-of-people-who-have-instruments feel. I think the whole band really likes Harry Partch, because this is one of the first folk albums where I can feel his hobo presence. It is especially prevalent in the song "Nemesis," which has, like, four distinctive parts, ethereal male/female vocals and C. Spencer Yeh wailing on his violin. "Summoner's Jaw" is a total prance along, skip in a meadow, carefree, almost communal Medieval melody with apocalyptic lyrics like: "The beast the mills make/ Have come to colonize/ their heights extol a strange repast/choking graveyard gas/ 'til the signal dies." Word. And the album's instrumentation is totally amazing. They even have that noise strum down, with an acoustic interpretation of the industrial clanging of a band like Sightings. Every song is accentuated by Ellen Molle's viola and Sara O'Keefe's clarinet. All in all, it's a pretty amazing album. Next time you want to badmouth an album, do some research. Okay. And quit comparing Modest Mouse to Animal Collective on Amazon. Alright.

1. Pioneers of Sleep
2. Summoner's Jaw
3. Eyes and Arms of Smoke
4. Black Hoists of Dawn
5. Nemesis