Growing Lateral

[The Social Registry; 2008]

Styles:  drone
Others: Machinefabriek, Birchville Cat Motel, Tim Hecker

With Lateral, Growing have put together a solid collection of lo-fi ambient music, manifesting the often oblique connection between drone and noise. Since both genres are full of music that’s considered non-directional, the music evokes the spatial as it envelops or invades, accented with stuttering phasers and guitar/organ filigree. Lateral only runs for 21 minutes, but in that short time, the band polishes several different facets of their identity.

In “First Contact,” a serrated, nasal pulse stumbles overtop kindly flanged strings of melody that could come from a guitar or an organ -- it’s hard to tell which. It has the feel of a dialog; Growing let the ideas remain juxtaposed without trying to resolve their contradictions or emphasize their congruities. It’s pretty and confident in both its simplicity and originality, and that’s enough.

“Lateral”: This is a drone piece thrown in the bed of a pickup truck headed over a road full of potholes. For the first three and a half minutes, there is no sense of surge or progression. It’s as if they took a Stars Of The Lid number and tried to make it sound like Steve Reich’s Drumming. Eventually, the sweetness dissipates and the track gives in to its percussive undercurrent.

“After Glow” is the most conventional drone piece of the lot, but it holds its own, the delayed and reverbed guitars pillowing each other, floating, sliding, and generally sounding like your favorite daydream involving knives (if you don’t have one already, this song is now it).

Having released music on Kranky, Animal Disguise, Archive, and Megablade/Troubleman, The Social Registry should consider itself lucky to have added Growing's shuddering, shimmering, and scratchy drones to its musical repertoire. More please!

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